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Physician uneasy with Medevac move
Chandra Lye, CTV Edmonton
Published Saturday, January 26, 2013 5:50PM MST
A local doctor is concerned that moving Medevac services to the International airport will do more harm than good.
Dr. Kerry Pawluski said he does not believe politicians have demonstrated that moving the service will benefit patients.
“People that have any kind of a medical condition that potentially is going to be adversely affected by delays in getting to definitive care are going to come into harms way,” he told CTV News.
“Time is of the essence. Time is tissue and here we are looking at provincial politicians saying ‘Nope, we’re going to put you under the bus’.”
The decision to create a new air ambulance facility at the Edmonton International Airport was announced Monday by Alberta Health Services.
The move is expected to take place mid-March but Pawluski says he still hopes the government will change their minds.
“There are no new laws that have to be passed. The provincial government simply has to say, ‘You know what? Let’s just hold off until we find something that is as good as what we have – or better’.”
Ward 7 councilor Tony Caterina said he doesn’t believe the province can expect Medevac services to be the best across the country ever again.
“I think that people have to consider the tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars that will have to be put into the new location in order to get an adequate service,” he explained.
“Edmonton went from the best Medevac system in the country – the most efficient and the fastest – to the worst.”
However, Caterina said now that the decision to shut the City Centre airport has been made it is up to the province to decide on air transportation.
“At this point it is in the province’s jurisdiction to go out to the International.”
With files from Jeff Harrington
Photo courtesy: Alberta Health Services