A few pilots and maintenance staff were recently let go from Manitoba’s air ambulance service as the government has moved the emergency service to private hands. It was earlier being managed by the provincial government. The layoffs resulted in 9 job losses in total owing to the Progressive Conservative government’s move. The privatization of the service began mid last year and over half of the patients have been carried around by private air ambulance service providers since then. The move is a gradual one to eventually take over the entire operation. The interim service is being provided by Babcock in conjunction with Vanguard Air Care currently. The request for proposals has already gone out paving the path for private air ambulance service providers. The details, however, have not emerged yet.
Thirteen Air Ambulance Service Employees Still Uncertain about their Future
It was revealed that the 11 people who lost their jobs had no clue about the layoffs until they reached their workplace that morning. Now, the remaining 13 are expressing concerns as to what fate has in store for them. However, a spokesperson from Manitoba Infrastructure revealed that they would make every effort to find suitable jobs for those who have been laid off and that too within civil service.
Not Many are Thrilled about the Move
The doctors associated with the air ambulance service have revealed that the request for proposal had not been shared with them. It seems that they too have not taken this lightly. The doctors along with the employee union have raised concerns in unison. They have together urged the province to take over the service.
The main concern, however, has been with regards to needy patients. Many fear that privatization will impact the quality of service. In that, the service providers’ profit motives might hamper their reach to remote areas. Only time will tell how the entire change will pan out.