A report released yesterday by the City & County of Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department (HESD) found that patient care and ambulance response times in Leeward Oahu could improve, and costs could decrease if the City obtained a second private ambulance service provider. From September – October 2013, the City’s current private ambulance contractor turned down 30-40% of requested calls for services in West Oahu.
“With only one City-run ambulance serving Leeward residents, we depend on the City’s private ambulance provider to provide dedicated services. Turning down 30-40% of requested calls puts our residents at a greater risk of death or prolonged injury and is unacceptable,” said Councilmember Pine.
The subject of a second private ambulance service provider was initially raised in a City Council Resolution co-authored by Councilmember Pine with Councilmember Ron Menor. Adopted by the Council in response to the deficiency of emergency services in West Oahu following the December 2012 closure of St. Francis Medical Center in Ewa Beach, the Resolution directed the HSED to evaluate the need for a second private ambulance service provider to provide back-up call services.
“After reviewing HESD’s report, I continue to welcome the entrance of a second private ambulance provider and believe that another private provider would increase patient access to care and improve service to Leeward residents,” Councilmember Pine added.
According to the Resolution, the report was due to City Council and public on August 9, 2013. The report was delivered to the Council on December 16, 2013. Members of the public can view it online via the City’s Docushare System: