Code critical: paramedics union in Nova Scotia sounds alarm on lack of staff and ambulances
SYDNEY, N.S. -- Ambulances were plenty outside of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney on Wednesday, but that hasn't always been the case across the province, according to the head of Nova Scotia's paramedics union.
"We're actually past a health care crisis. We keep hearing we're in a health care crisis, but we're actually on the brink of disaster in our opinion and our member's opinion," says Michael Nickerson, the Nova Scotia Paramedics Union CEO.
Nickerson and the paramedics union are once again sounding the alarm on staffing shortages in the province, and have revived their code critical campaign, which means two or fewer ambulances available in a given county.
"We had reports coming in fast and furious all over the province, in regards to code critical," Nickerson explains.
Margaret Fraser is the head of the Cape Breton Medical Staff Association. She says fewer ambulances make for long wait times for patients who have critical injuries or illnesses.
"When you call an ambulance, you need them to come. You don't want to be sitting at home wondering where they are," says Fraser.
The executive director of ground operations for EHS, Charbel Daniel says they are experiencing the same challenges across all health care facets within the province and across the country.
Daniel says collaborative approaches are in place to make things more efficient including new medical transport services.
"When residents call 911 care is established the second the line is picked up. We have our health care professionals helping navigate when a call comes in and an ambulance is sent and care will arrive," he says.
Michael Nickerson says the union will be bringing this issue to all political parties between now and Election Day.