Today, the Government of Nova Scotia in partnership with EHS announced a new program where non-paramedic employees would work as drivers on Patient Transport Units (PTUs). Patient Transport Units are ambulances used for the transportation of patients from one facility to another, or from a facility to their home.
For years, we have been asking that paramedics unable to fulfill the full duties of the role for physical or mental health reasons be offered an accommodation as driver of a PTU. In response, we were told it was unsafe to not have two fully able paramedics on the unit because there may be instances where two paramedics are needed. Now, however, this is somehow not the case.
We agree that something needs to be done to alleviate pressures on the system, however these positions should first be offered to paramedics who are currently off work on long/short term disability.
While we are happy to see effort on this front, we are concerned at the lack of consultation on this decision. We and our members have concerns and we will continue to voice those going forward.