Frank Klees

Press Release


June 1, 2012


QUEEN’S PARK: Newly leaked secret cabinet documents confirm the Health Minister's gross negligence over the Ornge air ambulance service. The confidential documents prepared for the McGuinty cabinet show that mismanagement in the Ministry of Health and Ornge have jeopardized lives, Ontario PC Transportation Critic Frank Klees charged today.

Klees made the revelation as he disclosed a McGuinty government cabinet document entitled: Investigations Concerning Air Ambulance and Related Services. The document references 27 cases, involving Ornge as the primary subject of investigations into failed health care delivery in 2011, and an additional 40 cases from January to May of this year.

Each crisis incident was reported to the Health Ministry’s Emergency Health Services Branch. The document further references an additional 10 cases in which Ornge was noted as a secondary party.

“Staff members at Ornge and in the Health Ministry have watched as the Minister of Health and the Premier McGuinty have made excuses failing to prevent what took place at the disgraced agency,” Klees said. “The only recourse these employees have is to provide elected officials with documents they hope will expose the truth,” Klees added.

Among the incidents Klees singled out, was one in which a paramedic was forced to deny a patient, in critical condition, the hope of being airlifted to a hospital, because he would be unable to perform CPR in the new Ornge AW 139 helicopter, because of its faulty design. The patient died.

Examples of other life-and-death incidents reported to the McGuinty Liberals:

· “Patient in respiratory distress could not be transported by air as Ornge's new helicopter interior design cannot allow for care to patients in respiratory distress (patient cannot sit up during flight)” (P. 18);

· “Upon arrival at scene of a motorcycle accident, the single primary care paramedic on board the helicopter informed local land EMS that due to the interior design of the Ornge helicopter, he would be unable to perform CPR on patient was transported by land ambulance and died en route” (P. 19);

· “Ornge failed to launch for an on scene response to a motor vehicle collision as Ornge Communications Centre was waiting to see if the patient was hurt enough. The helicopter was never launched in response; one person deceased” (P. 24);

· “Ornge unable to respond to an air ambulance request as no pilots on duty” (P. 33 )”

· “Claim of an inability to provide emergency air ambulance interfacility transport to London for critical child – patient deceased” (P. 34).

Klees added “Given that these incidents were all reported to the Health Ministry, where was the decisive action and steps that we've been repeatedly told were taken by Heath Minister Deb Matthews?

“These documents prove what we have been saying all along: Deb Matthews lacks the competency to run her own Ministry. In fact, she’s getting further away from restoring confidence in our air ambulance service with each passing revelation.”

Link to transcript of Frank Klees' statement June 1

Link to video of press conference

Link to Cabinet Document