PEI

Island EMS 'most obvious choice' for home care contract, Mitchell says

The Conservatives pressed Health Minister Robert Mitchell on Thursday to answer why the contracts weren't tendered and why those working on the front line in home care weren't consulted.

Oppostion MLAs question why $495K contract wasn't tendered

Opposition MLAs questioned the government in the legislature Thursday about the decision to expand home care services using Island EMS and its paramedics.

The Progressive Conservatives pressed Health Minister Robert Mitchell to answer why the contracts weren't tendered and why those working on the front line in home care weren't consulted.

Mitchell said he believes Islanders have "great respect" for Island EMS and the work they do.

"We all know the reputation they have and we all know the reputation they have when they respond to emergency calls," he said.

"The fact they are located from tip-to-tip across P.E.I. makes them the most obvious choice to do this new service with their advanced paramedics."

Hiring 3 nurses

Mitchell said the $495,490 contract with Island EMS is for one year, expiring on March 31, 2019. The province said the contract did not require a request for proposal because Treasury Board procedures "allow for selection that does not incur loss of continuity, time or economy."

Mitchell said he intended to talk with home-care workers in the future to enhance the program in coming years.

The province says 4,500 Islanders a year use home care a year on P.E.I. It said it plans to hire three nurses to help co-ordinate the program, and once those are filled, it can start to be rolled out.

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