Re: Ambulance response times best in B.C. (News, Oct. 16)
Who advocates for pre hospital care patients in B.C.? No one.
There is no independent watchdog group in B.C. making sure our EMS system produces the best possible patient
outcomes. In comparison to European EMS systems, B.C. is decades behind.
Is this because we don’t know how to provide the same level of care? No. Is it because their level of service is too costly? No. The European system is less expensive.
Given B.C.’s extreme distances and topography, there are few places that have more of a medical need than B.C. So, what are the reasons we have such an outdated, completely inadequate EMS system?
Two reasons: Our ambulance “scoop and run” model, and stakeholders who want to keep their empires as is. Many British Columbians die each year from completely treatable but time-sensitive conditions pre hospital. In fact, most people don’t know that a high percentage of trauma-related deaths are treatable.
Time delays and lack of attendant medical abilities play a role in a high number of unnecessary deaths in B.C. each year.
It’s not the attendant’s fault, they are doing the best they can. It’s the employers fault for not providing them with better training and faster transport, such as the use of rapid-response helicopters and ground cars.
The Europeans have had better patient outcomes (at lower costs) for decades, but B.C. Health keeps telling us that our EMS system is better. I want to know why and how.