Georgia Ambulance Services Drawing Increased Criticism
GEORGIA – October 4, 2018 (wsbradio.com) The way the state of Georgia handles its ambulance services is drawing increased criticism, according to an online news story from wsbradio.com.*
Throughout Georgia, increasing numbers of complaints have been logged by patients and families who say when they called for ambulances, a crew failed to respond in a timely manner or did not respond at all. The situation has become extremely bad in some areas of the state. The City Council of Dunwoody, Georgia, for example, declared a state of emergency for the city because of EMS issues. This means ambulance services in the city are creating a situation that has the potential to risk lives.
“This has been a problem for quite some time,” said Julianne Thompson, a spokesperson for The Georgia Ambulance Transparency Project. The project is a new coalition advocating for changes to the state’s system for ambulance services. “We have come together as a coalition to fight against the way the EMS selection has gone down in Georgia,” Thompson said.
The issue, many critics say, is that Georgia has a flawed system for ambulance services in which regional councils oversee ambulance providers. These regional councils are struggling to hold ambulance providers accountable for issues and have not been able to prevent the providers from dishonoring their commitments.
In demonstration of the problems currently at play, one ambulance company currently serves all of DeKalb County, where Dunwoody is located. Average response times in Dunwoody, officials say, are around 15 minutes. The contract the county has with the ambulance company, American Medical Response, calls for response times to not exceed 13.59 minutes. If AMR exceeds this time, it must pay a fine of $100 per minute, capped at $1,000 per call. Critics say this fine structure isn’t close to high enough to encourage AMR to comply.
For more information about the ambulance service issues in Georgia, visit the article linked above.
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