Initiative to be led by well-known ethics and transparency activist
Atlanta, Georgia—The Georgia Ambulance Transparency Project, a grassroots initiative, announced today the formation of a new coalition and website to fight the corporate cronyism that influences emergency medical service selection throughout the state.
The GATP will educate policymakers, stakeholders, and taxpayers about the dangers to public health created when a handful of well-connected private companies stack the deck against competition and innovation.
“Georgia deserves world-class public health,” GATP spokesperson Julianne Thompson, a well-known activist leader known for her work on ethics reform, said. “We want to make sure tax dollars are used correctly and that competition is open and that selection is fair. The process is seriously flawed, but with transparency will come progress.”
Ambulance providers in Georgia are selected by Regional EMS Councils, and Georgia law allows private ambulance company executives to sit on these Councils. Georgia Regional EMS Councils are divided into 10 health districts that encompass all 159 counties. Existing private providers who serve on these councils can use their authority to suppress competition if they are the existing provider. In regions where private ambulance companies do not operate, they can use their power to throw out the incumbent provider and install themselves.
To return transparency and market fairness to emergency medical services throughout the state, the new group will educate the public on the need to:
- Ban ambulance vendors from serving on Department of Public Health hiring councils;
- Require vendors to register with the state ethics commission and ban pay-to-play;
- Require mandatory service reviews to ensure safety; and
- Require that all ambulance service providers meet national safety standards and adhere to best-practices.
The Georgia Ambulance Transparency Project, Inc., is a registered 501c(4).