Oversight of ambulances outdated, says AG
Health PEI needs to modernize practices
Health PEI needs to be more diligent in its oversight of ambulance service, says P.E.I. Auditor General Jane MacAdam.
MacAdam's annual report, released Tuesday, cites missing inspection records and an "outdated and irrelevant" maintenance program, among other things.
MacAdam said it is up to Health PEI to keep a closer eye on the ambulance service.
"It needs to modernize the performance standards in its contract, and bring them in line with industry best practice," she said.
In particular, MacAdam cites problems with the system used to report incidents like vehicle breakdowns. She calls the vehicle maintenance program "outdated and irrelevant" because it's based on the passage of time, not based on vehicle mileage.
She also noted Health PEI doesn't measure performance based on how long it takes an ambulance to arrive on scene as other provinces do, but rather on how long it takes to leave the depot.
Opposition critic Hal Parry said that problem keeps the province from reducing response times.
"That should be one of their priorities, because people deserve better treatment," said Perry.
MacAdam also found problems with the make up of the board that oversees ambulance service. Nearly half the voting members of the board are employees of the private company that provides the service, which creates perpetual conflicts of interest.
Health Minister Doug Currie said government has already implemented some of the auditor's recommendations, and will go through them all in time.