Revisit ambulance contracts

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, February 11, 2016

There is no doubt that all of us in Lafayette County want the best possible health care available for ourselves and family. That means being transported to the hospital in a timely manner in order to receive life-saving treatment.

Baptist Memorial Hospital is building one of the finest health facilities in the state and we commend its leaders for making medical treatment a priority for all of us in Lafayette County. But according to Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson, recently a local man suspected of having a heart attack had to wait 40 minutes before an ambulance from Batesville was able to take him to BMH because no ambulance within the county was available.

We find that unacceptable and believe most of you do as well.

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Hopefully this was just an isolated incident, but according to Patterson it has been an ongoing issue in our county due mainly to the rapid population growth and the lack of more ambulances in the BMH fleet.

Hospital CEO Bill Henning said the hospital is meeting the required response time in its current contract with the county. We are sure they are, but the county has grown a great deal in the five years since that contract was signed.

We urge city officials and BMH administrators to come to a solution before the lack of an ambulance causes a tragedy.