Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cayman Islands: Officials defend air ambulance systems

(CNS): Government officials from the various departments involved in the procurement of air ambulance services for emergency air evacuations have denied that the system is ineffective or poorly managed. In the face of the auditor general’s recent report regarding the issues it says could put the public purse as well as patients at risk, the agencies have denied any risk to those using the service. Admitting to some flaws in the process the three main agencies involved - the health ministry, HSA and CINICO defended the complex process for airlifting patients and said their chief concern is the well-being of any persons who may require the emergency air evacuation (EAE).

“It has been our experience that depending on a patient’s unique needs, the most cost-effective solution is not always what is required in each case,” the joint statement said.”We strive whole heartedly to ensure that the EAE process is managed efficiently from start to finish, and to secure the best possible outcomes for each patient. While our system is not without flaws, which we are determined to address, its effectiveness has also been repeatedly proven.”

The statement also claimed that neither the local broker or Canadian Medical Network used by CINICO actually transports, handles or provides any physical care for the patient being transported.

“The true exposures exist with the service providers: HSA (medical triage, stabilization etc. and transport to the air ambulance) then the air ambulance provider (maintenance of medical stabilization and any care administered during the transportation to the overseas receiving facility),’ the statement said.

Commending the local broker’s 20 years of service the officials went on to say that CINICO would investigate any evidence of fees being paid that should not have been and that all three agencies were committed to improving the treatment and care of patients.

Reflecting on the auditor’s report they said they had been “aware of many of the issues mentioned by the OAG for some time” but upcoming changes to the structure of the EAE would mitigate most if not all the concerns.

Story:  http://www.caymannewsservice.com

Video:  http://www.cayman27.com