The SHA board has informed the Health Minister that they wish to terminate the contract of Dutchak Holdings Limited that provides ambulance services to the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster.
The decision to terminate the provider which operates WPD Ambulance came at Wednesday’s SHA board meeting with the reason given as an inability to fulfill contractual agreements over an extended period of time. The board indicated at no time was service to the City affected as the shortfall was made up from the Alberta side with Prairie EMS.
The board indicated that Dutchak Holdings Limited would be informed of their decision following the meeting and as well they may apply for arbitration. They were uncertain as to the timelines for the transition, but indicated that the Health Minister could make a decision within days of today’s board decision for termination.
Emergency Medical Services Executive Director Rod MacKenzie spoke about the transition period noting that Dutchak Holdings Limited would continue to provide the service pending the Health Minister’s decision and as well whether they would seek arbitration.
“In the interim, we have Medavie Services which is Prairie EMS providing services on the Alberta side. We have Dutchak Holdings providing service on the Saskatchewan side. And he will continue to do that until such time as we have a decision from the minister.”
MacKenzie says the ambulance provider will continue to hold the contract and provide the service during any arbitration process which they may request.
“There is a dispute resolution process in the Act and regulations where the owner/operator can ask for mediation and arbitration and the language in the Act clearly states that if he does request mediation and arbitration, the contract will continue until such time as that dispute resolution process plays out.”
Mackenzie indicated that they are in contact with Alberta Health Services and Prairie EMS and should Dutchak Holdings be unable to provide the number of ambulances AHS would pick up the slack.
He reassured Lloydminster residents that anytime they call 911, an ambulance will be available to respond.
Dutchak Holdings Limited has had the ambulance contract in Lloydminster since June 1st 2013. In August, the company was relieved of duties on the Alberta side of the City by AHS.