Minister's help sought in fight for paramedics

By Geoff Lee

January 12, 2016 11:04 AM

A local senior’s group lobbying to bring improved paramedic service to the Border City will have the ear of Saskatchewan Minister of Rural Health, Greg Ottenbreit, today.
Ottenbreit invited members of the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society to chat with him about the issue at Prairie North Health Region office downtown at 2 p.m.
“We want to draw his attention that this thing has been dragging on and why can’t we get this fixed.” said Graham Brown, who heads the seniors’ committee.
PHNR is working with Alberta Health Services to sign separate paramedic service contract with service provider WPD Ambulance.
WPD Ambulance currently services the city with Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs.
Brown contends people’s lives are at risk without the higher standard of emergency care paramedics provide, including intubation and the delivery of vital medications for people with heart trouble, for example.
“Hopefully, the community’s going to put pressure on and this is going to get solved,” he said.
Brown said he spoke with PNHR CEO David Fan last week on a different topic, and Fan said he was getting calls from the media in Lloydminster about the issue.
“He suggested they did have a pretty good meeting in December with WPD and they did finally get their proposal from them that they’ve been asking for for months, so hopefully they’re moving forward with this,” reported Brown.
He cautioned, however, that back in September his group was led to believe it was just a matter of time for PNHR to get together with their Alberta Health Services counterpart and it would all be solved.
After meeting with Ottenbreit, Brown will head to Arizona this week for a break, but said others in the committee will take up the torch while he’s away.
“There’re lots of good people around the table with the concerned citizens society. They’ll keep working on this and keep pushing this,” he said.

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