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A secret provincial government document that outlines plans to cutback BC Ambulance Service will inevitably lead to patient deaths if implemented, say the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, CUPE Local 873.

The document, released last week by the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE), states that “Patient safety could be compromised as response time is increased.”

Patients will pay the ultimate price for health care cutbacks to the Ambulance Service,” says local president John Strohmaier. “You simply cannot increase response times, cut staff, limit access to ambulance services and not create a situation where some patients will die waiting for help.”

The government had wanted to cut 300 paramedic positions but found the CUPE contract prevented them from doing so.

Strohmaier says the union is concerned the government may try cutting positions again in the future.

And the paramedics are asking why Gordon Campbell has reversed his position from 1997 when he denounced Ambulance Service delays after the tragic death of a young girl who died while waiting for an ambulance.