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Pilots Reject Privatization Air Ambulance Service in Manitoba

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Ever since the Tory government announced its plan to privatize Life Flight air ambulance service, there have been objections raised from all corners. Although it is not clear whether the contract has already been awarded to a private party or whether the process of awarding it is on, the pilots of Life Flight air ambulance service are certainly not happy about the move. A strongly worded letter has been sent to the minister of health, Cameron Friesen, a copy of which has been obtained by the Free Press. Earlier, in July of this year, the Manitoba government had made its intent clear, inviting private players to run the air ambulance service as well as water bombers for fire fighting.

The Air Ambulance Service is of Extreme Importance for Manitoba

Life Flight air ambulance service offers emergency health access to a region spanning over 200 kilometers in radius. The service is offered 24 hours a day. Each year, the air ambulance service makes about 500 trips or more, which accounts for more than a trip a day. The service is critical for rural Manitobans as air ambulance is their only resort during life-threatening emergencies. So far, the service has been publically owned and efficiently run. Obviously, the employees and the people in general want to maintain status quo.

The Move is Now Taking a Political Turn in Manitoba

The minister of health as offered to listen to the plight of the physicians. These highly trained physicians are truly getting a listening ear now. They have reiterated the concern that the move to privatize the air ambulance service can bring the safety standards down and owing to this concern, they refuse to be a part of a privatized air ambulance company. The political opponents of the current government have jumped in and are now supporting the pilots’ cause.

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