BC Liberals: NDP inaction leads to further ambulance delays and deaths

THE BC Liberals on Monday said that despite promising 24/7 emergency care to Ashcroft residents in the 2020 election, the NDP has turned its back on the community — and patients who need immediate medical attention are paying the price.

“For the second time in less than a month, a valued member of our community has tragically died after waiting nearly 30 minutes for a local ambulance,” said Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. “People in Ashcroft are scared. They deserve to have faith that when they call for an ambulance, one will arrive in a timely manner — and when they need emergency care, it will be available to them. The NDP is failing this community and others across B.C. in similar situations.”

The BC Liberals noted the NDP promised to improve ambulance service following the deadly 2021 heat dome, but that clearly hasn’t happened. The NDP must address the serious shortage of paramedics and ambulance delays, and that requires a look at issues like recruitment and retention, they added.

“Additionally, we are five years and two terms into this government’s tenure, and we still don’t have the health human resources plan that was promised. Our caucus has also proposed a 30-day action plan, plus additional solutions including new initiatives for internationally-trained doctors — but there’s been nothing but silence from the government,” said BC Liberal Health Critic Shirley Bond. “What is the NDP waiting for? Lives are at stake now, and health care workers’ stress and burnout is at an all-time high. This situation is simply unacceptable.”

Tegart said her heart goes out to the loved ones of the deceased, as well as the members of Ashcroft Fire Rescue who went above and beyond to try to help the patient in medical distress.

“The entire community is shaken by these incidents. We need Health Minister Adrian Dix and the NDP to act now, before more lives are lost,” said Tegart. “Step up, fulfil the commitments you made to these residents, and ensure the care if there when people need it most.”