Ambulance cuts stranded patients: NDP - Metro US

Ambulance cuts stranded patients: NDP

A Surrey woman paralyzed with Lou Gehrig’s disease waited nearly 10 hours in the emergency room after the province cut a program that transfers patients with chronic illnesses between hospitals and their homes.

Wayne Mitchell said his wife Christine Stirman’s life has become “a nightmare” since July, when the Liberal government cut 14 ambulances from its ambulance transfer service fleet.

“Her condition has worsened because of these long waits in the hospital,” he said, adding she now has foot and mouth disease, which he thinks she contracted in a crowded ER waiting for an ambulance to take her home.

Tina Da Costa, the family’s daughter, said her mother — who cannot speak — requires frequent visits to hospital and can only be transported by stretcher.

“(Sometimes) she’s discharged late afternoon and does not get home until 3 a.m.,” Da Costa said, adding the family’s stress level is “maxed out.”

Adrian Dix, NDP health critic, said waiting hours to be taken home after an appointment does not constitute the quality of medical care Premier Gordon Campbell promised during his last election campaign.

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