Ad­vo­cacy group pushes for air am­bu­lance ser­vice

Hag­gie meets with Air Am­bu­lance mem­bers to dis­cuss Gander-based op­er­a­tion

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - BY ADAM RAN­DELL Adam.ran­dell@gan­der­bea­con.ca

GANDER, NL – After a pos­i­tive meet­ing with Health min­is­ter John Hag­gie, Eu­gene Nip­pard is hope­ful an air am­bu­lance ser­vice can be es­tab­lished in Cen­tral New­found­land.

Nip­pard, Chair of the Fogo Is­land/Cen­tral New­found­land Med­i­cal Air Trans­port Ad­vo­cacy Group, was part of a con­tin­gent that met with min­is­ter Hag­gie, who is also the Gander MHA, on March 28.

The group pre­sented its case as to why Gander is a suit­able lo­ca­tion for an air am­bu­lance ser­vice.

Nip­pard called it a pos­i­tive meet­ing, stat­ing, “It was re­fresh­ing to reach con­sen­sus on the logic of Gander as an epi­cen­tre for air ser­vices as air am­bu­lance ac­tiv­ity would be more ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient from this lo­ca­tion.”

She added, “We will col­lec­tively move for­ward to make this ex­cit­ing di­rec­tion a re­al­ity.”

How­ever, Hag­gie has in­di­cated to The Bea­con he isn’t out­right sup­port­ing a Gander-based air am­bu­lance ser­vice at this time, but feels, “it’s some­thing to look at.”

The prov­ince’s am­bu­lance sys­tem is cur­rently un­der re­view, he added, which will pro­vide di­rec­tion for cen­tral med­i­cal dis­patch mov­ing for­ward. This will in­clude ground, air and dis­patch ser­vices.

“I think there is a huge op­por­tu­nity here to look at that and make it a much more ef­fec­tive ser­vice,” Hag­gie said.

“I don’t see any change in the im­me­di­ate short term, be­cause the piece about cen­tral med­i­cal dis­patch hasn’t been worked through yet.

“Once it has, it will be used to de­ter­mine how to re­or­ga­nize, al­ter or bol­ster ser­vices we have at the mo­ment.”

FILE PHOTO

Health min­is­ter John Hag­gie says a Gander-based air am­bu­lance ser­vice is worth look­ing into, but feels the cen­tral med­i­cal dis­patch re­view of am­bu­lance ser­vices will give a clearer in­di­ca­tion of how to pro­ceed.

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