The Athabasca Health Authority has terminated its contract with a number of paramedics, claiming they were sleeping on the job.

Six paramedics, an RN and an LPN are affected.  They got their termination notice on Wednesday.

In the letter of termination to the paramedics, the authority writes: “Due to the severity of the negligence displayed and the liability it has created for our organization, the health authority will be reporting the information to the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics.”

According to an AHA letter to one of the fired nurses, they were let go for observing the paramedics sleeping on the job and not reporting it.

One of the fired medics, who did not want to be identified, says he is deeply disturbed by the allegations.

“That is the thing that really concerns all of us, as well — the ‘negligence’ comment. You know not once was patient care ever compromised the whole time we all worked there.  I mean, if it did, then by all means we should all be disciplined — but there is no proof of this ever happening.”

The worker also says there is no truth to allegations that workers were sleeping on the job.  He goes on to say the mass termination this week left the province’s far north with virtually no paramedic service for the day and it is still far below where it should be.

A statement from the Athabasca Health Authority says it “remains committed to the provision of high quality health care services to the residents of the Athabasca Basin, and has actively made plans to ensure services are in place, and that patient care is not compromised.”

In the statement, CEO Jennifer Conley confirms the health authority “terminated 8 independent service provider’s contracts for breach of contract” — adding, “Due to the legal implications of this matter, I cannot comment further”.

The alleged incident took place at the Athabasca Health Authority Hospital in Stony Rapids.