For immediate release
July 10, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is concerned that First Nations citizens across Northern Manitoba may have limited access to critical services due to recent changes to Manitoba’s LifeFlight Air Ambulance Program.
In June 2019, the Government of Manitoba announced it was moving towards privatizing the service. It issued a request for proposals for an entity to provide this service. MKO would endorse any proposal that increases access to critical care services for northern First Nations citizens.
“We expect that any changes will result in better services. First Nations people, however, have not been consulted on this issue. Many people in the North are in the dark about what is going on—I call on the provincial government to improve communications with Northern First Nations around changes in services and the transition process,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee.
“First Nations deserve to be made aware of the potential impacts and mitigation strategies when it comes to these essential, life-saving services. I also call on the provincial government to include MKO and MKO First Nations in the planning related to critical/trauma care air transport,” said Grand Chief Settee.
“MKO First Nations will not accept any interruptions in services or delays by the provincial government in rectifying the matter during the transition period,” said Grand Chief Settee. “We call on the provincial government to immediately rectify any internal conflicts with the health care providers as a matter of urgency to ensure air ambulance services across the North.”
If First Nations citizens from Northern communities have concerns about their safety when it comes to accessing emergency health transportation, they can share these concerns with MKO by emailing us at [email protected] or by calling us at 1-800-442-0488.