Province Receives Clinical Oversight Committee Report on STARS Air Ambulance Service

July 23, 2014

All Recommendations Accepted; New Oversight to be Implemented: Minister Selby

The Manitoba government has released the report and recommendations of the Clinical Oversight Committee on the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) air ambulance service, led by Dr. Brian Postl, Health Minister Erin Selby said today.

“Our first priority is to deliver safe, high-quality care to Manitoba families.  We are confident these recommendations and the hard work of all involved will ensure a strong future for STARS and the valuable service it provides, particularly for those in rural Manitoba,” Minister Selby said.  “The province is grateful to Dr. Postl and all the medical experts who have contributed to the work of the Clinical Oversight Committee.

The panel’s recommendations are focused on ensuring patient safety, quality of service and public confidence in emergency services.  Recommendations of the Clinical Oversight Committee include:

  • the suggestion for STARS to pursue Canadian Medical Association accreditation;
  • the establishment of a provincial paediatric transport team;
  • the establishment of an operations liaison committee, led by the Office of Medical Director and a standards committee;
  • the further integration into the provincial emergency medical services system through the Medical Transportation Coordination Centre; and
  • the resumption of inter-facility transports.

The last recommendation was initiated on July 2, 2014, due to the provincial state of emergency related to summer flooding and agreed upon by Dr. Postl and the medical experts on the Clinical Oversight Committee.

“Emergency medical care is complex and I’d like to thank the participants in the process for their insight and assistance in making the STARS service even better for Manitobans,” said Postl.

“With this report, the clinical oversight panel has completed its work addressing patient safety issues.”

Manitoba Health will complete the transfer of the STARS Service Purchase Agreement (SPA) to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, effective Aug. 1.  This process has been underway for several months, Minister Selby said, and it will enable medical crews to enhance their experience and training in Winnipeg’s high-volume emergency and critical-care medical system.

“We are dedicated to providing Manitobans with the highest quality care possible,” said Andrea Robertson, president and CEO, STARS.  “We welcome the recommendations and look forward to working with community partners to save lives.”

Since arriving in Manitoba in 2011, STARS has been dispatched to 721 missions resulting in the transportation of 486 patients.

The Clinical Oversight Committee report can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/health/ems/stars.

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