Officials defend air ambulance systems

| 31/07/2013

(CNS): Government officials from the various departments involved in the procurement of air ambulance services for emergency air evacuations have denied that the system is in effective or poorly managed. In the face of the auditor general’s recent report regarding the issues that could put the public purse as well as patients at risk, the agencies have denied any risk to those using the service. Admitting to some flaws in the process, the three main agencies involved, the health ministry, HSA and CINICO, defended the complex process for airlifting patients and said their chief concern is the well-being of anyone who may require the emergency air evacuation (EAE).

“It has been our experience that depending on a patient’s unique needs, the most cost-effective solution is not always what is required in each case,” the joint statement said. ”We strive whole heartedly to ensure that the EAE process is managed efficiently from start to finish, and to secure the best possible outcomes for each patient. While our system is not without flaws, which we are determined to address, its effectiveness has also been repeatedly proven.”

The statement also claimed that neither the local broker or Canadian Medical Network, which used by CINICO, actually transports, handles or provides any physical care for the patient being transported.

“The true exposures exist with the service providers: HSA (medical triage, stabilization etc. and transport to the air ambulance) then the air ambulance provider (maintenance of medical stabilization and any care administered during the transportation to the overseas receiving facility)," the statement said.

Commending the local broker’s 20 years of service, the officials went on to say that CINICO would investigate any evidence of fees being paid that should not have been and that all three agencies were committed to improving the treatment and care of patients.

Reflecting on the Office of the Auditor General's report, they said they had been “aware of many of the issues mentioned by the OAG for some time” but upcoming changes to the structure of the EAE would mitigate most if not all the concerns.

See full statement below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear FCO,

    This is why you should not give one extra cent of lending to this new government – they will carry on without appropriate procurement and tendering if it suits them politicially to support pseudo-nationalist agendas.  I hope the new Governor has a financial SWAT team in place to come in at some point, because it is only going to get worse.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When it is you time to re-emerge into non-physical, it is your time. If not, a rescue on horse carriagewould suffice.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was flown out on an emergency a few years ago by Ms Madge and family and they were fantastic.  Service was efficient and on time.  It was friendly and comforting.  Ambulance service ready on arrival in Miami and the entire trip in a stom. As it was a weekend there was no way the money could be raised for the advance payment however as they knew me they waited until the following week.  I am not suggesting they always offer credit but at least with local knowledge they can use discretion.  Well done guys and let us not be too hasty in making demands as the alternative service may not be as god or as welcoming at a time of stress.  The lowest competitive price for anything is not always the best. 

    • Savannah Resident says:

      Whether you received good treatment is irrelevant.  The Air Ambulance service did not go out to tender, simple as that.  Why is it, that we as Caymanian choose to ignore international best practices when it suites us?  What about transparency, openness and creating a equal playing field for all?  Follow the Auditor General's advice, put this service out to tender and let the best candidate win. 

      My two cents…fellow Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not about personalities.  Why can't we get that? Madgie and Jill are wonderful people and do their very best.  At least you lived to write about your experience. For God's sake, we need to follow the law…..end of story.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Some people just want to take the business away from Ms Madgie. Her service is not competitive. Not even one Caymanian has ever complained about her. Thats the Cayman style, they are like soldier crabs. Ms Madgie you have the entire Cayman behind you, and if you need us to march or whatever to defend you we will.

    • Anonymous says:

      You people are so stupid. Margie and Jill are personable people who overcame huge hurdles in their past and I am happy that they have gotten their lives back and are in business. However the issue here is not how friendly or "nice" they are but the fact that tendering for this service did not follow proper procedure. That is wrong and the Auditor General is absolutely correct. If the Boddens are the right people and run such a fantastic service, as I'm sure they do, then they will have no problem competing in a free and open market!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a whitewash.  Are these authorities saying that the auditor general had no valid points?  

  6. Anonymous says:

    What the Auditor General needs to look into is the issue of CINICO paying for breast augmentation that was NOT required for medical reasons. With CINICO it's not what you need that matters, it's who you are in the eyes of the persons who give the approval for the work to be done. CINICO needs to be abolished as the operation is a total farce, run be incompetent, inept and self serving people. This is one way the new government can tighten up its finances.

    • Rorschach says:

      You think THAT's bad…you should see how many weight reduction surgeries that the CIG has paid for instead of the Dr.'s just saying, "stop stuffing your face like you're preparing for the zombie apolcalypse and take your fat ass for a walk"…cause everybody knows in the zombie apocalypse, Rule # 1…CARDIO….

    • Hancock says:

      CINICO needs to keep abreast of the times.

    • Anonymous says:

      and dental work that was "elective" in nature. My friend used to audit their accounts.

    • Anonymous says:

      I simply cannot say how strongly I would oppose any investigation that would risk reducing the number of cosmetic breast augmentations that take place in the Cayman Islands.