Politicians make promises they cannot or simply do not keep. Every voter knows that.
When it involves a promised road, school, new program or even a tax cut, they often not only get away with it … but can even get re-elected making the same promises over again!
But growing numbers of British Columbians are suffering, or seeing their family members suffer and some even die, after the NDP made a promise four years ago it hasn’t kept.
This is DIRECTLY from the NDP’s 2017 Election Platform: ” We will invest in more paramedics, so that no one is left waiting for an ambulance in their time of critical need .”
Well, they did increase funding … but not enough … or the entire system is simply not working properly
Either way, the NDP government has failed in their responsibility … and their promise … to solve the critical problems facing BC’s Ambulance Services.
“No one is left waiting?”
Tell that to the family of Maureen Bower who died last September … two years after the NDP made its promise … and after it still took more than three hours to get an ambulance to her home in Coquitlam.
In Coquitlam! Not exactly a remote rural community or isolated farm.
” If they were there within the hour, she’d be recovering from a mild stroke. She’d still be alive. I’m angry about the situation. Her grandkids will miss their grandmother,” Maureen’s brother Ernie Mack said at the time.
Read the full details as reported by CTV here: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/she-d-still-be-alive-b-c-family-wants-answers-after-ambulance-takes-3-hours-to-arrive-1.5111554.
Maureen was not alone: news stories of British Columbians waiting HOURS for an ambulance in an Emergency situation are sadly easy to find.
Just last week, a woman who broke her hip at a Burnaby Sky Train station had to wait, lying there on the station floor for more than an hour before an ambulance arrived.
And a News 1130 story reported Troy Clifford, president of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, saying long wait times for people in emergency situations are becoming more common.
“I mean it’s tragic when you see something like that, anytime anybody has to wait when they’re in an emergency situation whether it’s critical or not, it’s a horrible experience,” Clifford said.
See the News 1130 story here: https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/06/02/bc-paramedics-staffing-issues/
” We have the ambulances and the funding from the government. It’s really about the mismanagement of the ambulances, and the ambulance service and PHSA and BC Emergency Health Services (BC EHS) failing to really provide the mandate that they’re responsible to provide to the citizens of the province.”
But the ultimate responsibility lies with the BC government: it regulates, appoints, supervises and funds those who operate BC’s province-wide Ambulance system.
Tracy Gunderson died from a hemorrhage in a Vancouver apartment after it took an ambulance 35 minutes to get to her.
Imagine if you, or someone you know, was left ill, injured or died in distress, pain or laying their own blood after it took more than a half hour, or an hour or more, for an ambulance arrived.
While fully equipped ambulances sat in parking lots … unused.
Health Minister Adrian Dix ordered a full independent review after Gunderson’s death and in 2019 promised … there’s that word again … to implement ALL of the report’s 14 recommendations.
You can read the recommendations on Pages 19-20 of the report here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/conducting-health-research/bcehs-case-review.pdf.
It looked “promising”: https://globalnews.ca/news/5941815/bc-911-delay-report/.
But No … two years later, the BC Ambulance system remains seriously … and some believe critically ill!
One Friday night in February this year, according to the Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC “there were 29 ambulances that were left unstaffed in Metro Vancouver. It adds wait times for an emergency call were up to an hour, up to 16 hours for a non-emergency call, and there were no ambulances operating on the North Shore — although the latter was later mitigated,” News 1130 reported. (https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/02/22/paramedic-shortage-b-c/)
That level of public Emergency “service” … or “disservice” in BC … is really unacceptable, inexcusable!
Especially four years after the NDP made ending long ambulance waits an Election “promise” … No one would be left waiting.
But they were … and still are … far too often for far too long.
Lives literally hang in the balance.
It’s time the NDP government keeps its PROMISE … and meets its responsibility to get ambulances where and when they are needed … to save more precious lives.
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