Thanks for everyone’s advocacy regarding the acute BC ambulance situation here on Cortes Island. Thanks to Cortes currents for the excellent coverage https://cortescurrents.ca/75-cut-to-cortes-island-ambulance-service/
to Myrna and her team and the hundreds who signed the petition asking for action, the Fire Department and the Health Association for their letters and to everyone involved. I took a report about the whole crisis paramedic situation to the Strathcona Regional District Board this week and again initiated regional collaboration on this matter. Hours before the board meeting, I received a response to my communication to BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) confirming what Cortes currents wrote a few days ago https://cortescurrents.ca/better-pay-for-paramedics-in-rural-communities/#more-97108
and I have attached it here to this article along with my report to the Regional District Board. In essence we will have four permanent full-time paramedics as of November 1 and a return to the Kilo Guarantee for on call staff between now and then. Of course, it there was not a culture of fear and if BCEHS had really listened to those on the ground here who well saw this coming, all this could have been avoided. In preparation for the SRD’s requested meeting with our MLA, and staff from BCEHS, the Ministry of Health and Island Health, I would very much like to hear, in confidence, from any Cortes paramedics who wish to speak with me about the system and their experiences. I understand that much trust has been broken by BCEHS and that because many have had to take on other employment that these late efforts by BCEHS may not be as effective as intended. I would like to understand from those most intimately involved what to communicate to these decision-makers.
Warmly, Noba Anderson
Regional Director, Cortes Island
Strathcona Regional District