CORNER BROOK Bob Patten doesn’t expect to see the consultant’s report on the province’s ambulance program any time soon. But the owner of Reliable Ambulance and president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Ambulance Services is leery of what it contains.
“I don’t know how much stuff they got in it and how far they went,” said Patten Friday.
The Department of Health confirmed Thursday that the report — completed by Fitch and Associates from Plattsville, Miss. and Jane Helleur and Associates of St. John’s — had been presented to the province Tuesday.
The report stems from a targeted consultation process conducted back in January. Patten said he already has a sour taste in his mouth from the way that consultation process was conducted.
“We understood in the beginning of the process that the associations would be contacted and so I went in on behalf of my own company, but I in no way presented a case on behalf of the association,” said Patten.
He said he waited to hear back on when the association would be given an opportunity to present and when he didn’t hear anything contacted the Department of Health and was told the process had already taken place.
Patten said that’s concerning because the consultation didn’t include the whole industry.
Speaking as an operator, Patten said the perspective is different than that of speaking as the association.
“I’m representing my own particular interests, my own views on whatever, but it’s a much larger view when I’m speaking about the province.”
He said there’s a bigger view of the industry when you take in the smaller services and the remote areas. “It’s a completely different set of problems.”
Patten said he left all that because he thought the association would also get the opportunity to speak. And he said others felt the same way because many people didn’t show up for the regional meetings because they thought the association was going to deal with it.
Patten said it seems the consultants spent a lot of time with the regional health authorities and directors.
“It seems like they are the ones that controlled this study, so I’m a little suspect now.”
For now Patten said he can only wait and see what the report brings.