Ambulance review completed; not yet available

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Report being assessed by government: minister

The government won’t disclose what is in a report which reviewed the provincial ambulance program until changes can be put in place.

A consultant’s report on the province’s ambulance program was presented to the provincial government on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by government Thursday afternoon.

Asked for the report, a spokesman for the Department of Health told The Telegram the document is not being released at this time.

“The department has just received the final report, which provides a comprehensive review of the provincial ambulance program, and is in the process of reviewing the recommendations,” reads a statement sent on behalf of Health Minister Susan Sullivan.

“Every report is different — some of the recommendations put forth may require legislative or regulatory changes,” the email states.

“Our next step is to closely review the recommendations that have been presented to government and develop an appropriate course of action. Upon concluding that process we will release the report.”

The request for proposals for a review of the Provincial Ambulance Program was first issued by government in May 2012. The review was to cover service demand, structure, equipment and service delivery options.

The work was completed under a $250,000 contract, awarded in November 2012 to the partnership of Fitch-Helleur. It is a joint venture of Fitch and Associates from Plattsville, Miss., and Jane Helleur and Associates, a St. John’s-based management consulting firm.

“I am pleased to provide this update today on the Provincial Ambulance Program review. ... The next steps in the process are to closely review the recommendations and develop a plan that will enable us to move forward to deliver optimal service to the people of the province,” Sullivan said, in a public statement.

“I look forward to discussing this report with my colleagues over the coming weeks.”

MHA for Burgeo-LaPoile and Liberal Health critic Andrew Parsons says Sullivan received a report on the review months ago. He accused the minister of political interference in the independent review process.

In his own statement, Parsons said he received a letter from government in June 2013 stating an “interim report” on the ambulance review was in government’s hands at that time.

“We know there are two versions of this report,” he said. “The original report was received months ago.”

The Telegram sent Parsons’ statement to government after receiving it, at about 4:45 p.m. No response was received before deadline.

Organizations: Department of Health, The Telegram, Fitch-Helleur Fitch and Associates Jane Helleur and Associates

Geographic location: Plattsville

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