Member Update -July 7th, 2021
I want to give you all a quick update of the events that have unfolded in relation to the recent issues with BCEHS. Please know we are doing all we can and are committed to keeping everyone updated as soon as we can. Things are incredibly busy and moving quickly right now.
As we reported last week, members of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) met each day with the senior leadership of BCEHS to address the disaster that happened on the previous weekend’s heatwave and the ongoing collapse of the ability to respond to calls province wide. While these talks started off well, they ended with a definite tone of unwillingness to work collaboratively.
Due to mounting pressure from patients, the public, our public safety partners, and the media onslaught, on Thursday July 1st I requested a meeting with the Minister of Health (MOH) and he agreed to meet with me the next day. We had frank discussions with the MOH, and he asked APBC to supply a comprehensive list of solutions to address the multiple issues. Over the weekend the Executive worked hard to compile a solution based briefing document in preparation for the Minister. On the morning of Sunday July 11th, the CEO of PHSA, David Byres reached out and asked to meet with myself and our Provincial Vice President, Dave Deines.
At the meeting, Mr. Byres informed us that he was aware the MOH had requested a list of solutions from APBC addressing ongoing service issues, and that the Minister had made the same request of PHSA. After much productive discussion, both parties agreed that that a joint presentation to the MOH would be very, very powerful. On Monday July 5th, we shared our solutions based briefing document developed for the MOH with PHSA. PHSA leadership was very receptive to our presentation and document, which encompassed 55 recommendations for remote, rural, urban and metro service.
PHSA took our document and recommendations away for review in an effort to determine which recommendations they could support as a joint submission. We heard back yesterday afternoon and we will be meeting with PHSA to determine next steps. We are optimistic our suggestions and proposals have been well received by the leadership of PHSA and we have their acknowledgement and commitment.
Your PEC is scheduled to meet with the MOH on Thursday. This will be our one chance to put what we need to do into Minister Dix’s mind:
1) Make sure we are never in this position again,
2) Ensure a high-performance paramedic service that gets a paramedic to a patient in a timely manner, while supporting our members and
3) Fix the systemic issues plaguing our service.
We are cautious and optimistic and will update you after our meetings with the MOH and PHSA at the first opportunity. In the interim, keep doing your amazing work and let people know there is hope of things getting better.
Stay safe and be well,
Ambulance Paramedics &
Emergency Dispatchers of BC
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