Donna Martin died last year of an avoidable wasp sting after her local ambulance provider failed to respond to her family’s calls for emergency assistance.
The provider that failed Donna–a mother and grandmother and an educator of 42 years–controls two seats on the Department of Public Health Council taskforce that provisions emergency medical services in the same region. Once installed on these panels, providers use their special power to insulate their performance from public review or criticism and real oversight by the state.
Donna‘s story demonstrates the real, human devastation that occurs when well-connected bad actors are allowed through statutory loopholes and lax oversight to leverage relationships and resources to abuse Georgia’s public health for their own benefit.
The Georgia House of Representatives has already voted to support national best practices in the provision and delivery of emergency medical services. House Bill 264, which passed the House on a 148-6 vote, would:
• Ban ambulance vendors from serving on Department of Public Health Emergency Medical Service Advisory Council committees that select service providers;
• Require vendors to register with the state ethics commission;
• Require mandatory service provider reviews to ensure safety; and
• Require that all ambulance providers meet safety standards.