As September winds down, I want to thank you for opening your doors to me this summer when I was out visiting neighbourhoods this summer, and for reaching out to me to share your concerns at other times too.
The Legislature will open its Fall Session on October 12th and I’ll be carrying those concerns with me to raise with the government.
I continue to chair the province Public Accounts Committee, and next week we will deal with issues related to the province’s ambulance service. Earlier this week, our Auditor General, Kim Adair, delivered a performance audit on Ground Ambulance Services. The AG determined the “service is in a critical state primarily due to:
- Department of Health and Wellness is not effectively tracking key performance indicators in contract with Emergency Medical Care Inc. (EMCI)
- Department of Health and Wellness is not holding Nova Scotia Health accountable for significant offload delays in Emergency departments
- Paramedics’ working conditions are unsustainable and indicate a crisis
- Public reporting improvement is needed on Ground Ambulance Dashboard Data
- New contract with EMCI is cost effective, as long as controls over EMCI management fee and audit clause are utilized”.
The audit makes 14 recommendations related to the service’s management and monitoring by the Department of Health and Wellness and its delivery by Emergency Medical Care Inc., the company contracted by the province to deliver the service for the past quarter century. Last year, ground ambulance services cost more than $147 million.
The recommendations include re-instating accountability on response times and the direction to clearly define who is accountable for directives at both the Department, and at Nova Scotia Health relating to offload delays at emergency departments.
You can find the report and other materials related to this issue at the Auditor General’s website , including the 2023 Ground Ambulance Services report, as well as a summary, highlight video, infographic, and some questions you might want to ask about the servic.
You can view the video live on Legislative Television as well as the House of Assembly’s YouTube Channel Public Accounts Committee – 2023 – YouTube .
Thank you for staying informed!