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Haggie meets with Air Ambulance members to discuss Gander-based operation

Health Minister John Haggie speaks to the media in this file photo.
Health Minister John Haggie speaks to the media in this file photo. - Star file photo

GANDER, NL – After a positive meeting with Health minister John Haggie, Eugene Nippard is hopeful an air ambulance service can be established in Central Newfoundland.

Nippard, Chair of the Fogo Island/Central Newfoundland Medical Air Transport Advocacy Group, was part of a contingent that met with minister Haggie, who is also the Gander MHA, on March 28.

The group presented its case as to why Gander is a suitable location for an air ambulance service.

Nippard called it a positive meeting, stating, “It was refreshing to reach consensus on the logic of Gander as an epicentre for air services as air ambulance activity would be more effective and efficient from this location.”

She added, “We will collectively move forward to make this exciting direction a reality.”

However, Haggie has indicated to The Beacon he isn’t outright supporting a Gander-based air ambulance service at this time, but feels, “it’s something to look at.”

The province’s ambulance system is currently under review, he added, which will provide direction for central medical dispatch moving forward. This will include ground, air and dispatch services.

“I think there is a huge opportunity here to look at that and make it a much more effective service,” Haggie said.

“I don’t see any change in the immediate short term, because the piece about central medical dispatch hasn’t been worked through yet.

“Once it has, it will be used to determine how to reorganize, alter or bolster services we have at the moment.”

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