Citizens Medical Center wants to contract with ambulance service

Keldy  Ortiz

Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:20 a.m.

Citizens Medical Center is looking to contract with an ambulance service to help provide outpatient care to patients.

The hospital board on Tuesday approved sending proposals to private ambulance services in the Victoria area.

"We want to contract our services to one provider because we want to provide expeditious transfer," said Citizens' CEO David Brown. "We expect them to meet our standards."

Brown said he wants the potential ambulance service to be available to transfer patients to major medical centers if needed. He also wants them to be available to transfer patients in the area as well.

Sacred Heart Medical Services was one of the private services to receive the proposal.

"We are very grateful for this opportunity," said Clay Wiatrek, Sacred Heart CEO.

Wiatrek could not comment any further because of the ongoing bidding process.

For both Citizens and potential ambulance services, the agreement would be ideal, as the ambulance company would be contracted to have a vehicle set aside to wait to transport patients.

For Citizens to not have an ambulance service is not uncommon, said Jeremy Goodman, director of transportation at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi.

The hospital has ambulance service in Brownsville, but not having the service is a cost issue, Goodman said.

"The cost associated with these things is expensive," Goodman said. "I've seen a lot of hospitals that are trying not to have their own ambulances."

Goodman said it is not at an ambulance provider's benefit to contract with just one location, especially one with a small population.

"I would try to diversify as much as possible and be available to those who need me," he said. "I wouldn't tie my services with one facility."

Citizens expects to receive the proposals on Dec. 15, after which the hospital will review the proposals.



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