Anna Thistle, Opposition Finance Critic and MHA for the District of Grand
Falls - Buchans, is calling on the provincial government to ensure there is
no disruption of ambulance services around the province due to financial
impact resulting from increased fuel prices.
"It has been brought to my
attention that many of these operators are having difficulty given the huge
increases in fuel prices since they negotiated their last funding
arrangement with government several years ago," said Thistle. "I want
assurances from the Minister of Finance that he will deal with this
potential problem in a timely manner."
Private ambulance services are provided by for profit contractors and
community service organizations throughout the province. Services are
provided based upon a contract between the operators and government.
"I have received reports which indicate that some operators, especially
those in rural areas, are being extremely hard hit by the huge increase in
fuel prices. Government obviously has to review the funding made available
to ensure a quality service can be provided. The Minister of Education has
already been made aware of a similar problem that must be addressed with
school bus operators in the province.
"The Williams government has been receiving increased tax revenue and
additional oil revenues because of the high price of oil and it is not
acceptable that they stand by and watch an erosion of ambulance service to
people in rural areas of this province. High fuel prices are having many
negative impacts in this province and the government should have a plan
developed that deals with some of the problems which are becoming evident.
"The people of the province rely on essential ambulance services and
government must act quickly to address this problem to prevent a service