We’ve heard about the RCMP going after festival organizers for policing costs, but is it time health authorities get reimbursed for health care costs?
The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority says its time they too should get their costs reimbursed by event organizers.
Speaking at a public forum in Squamish Wednesday, Chair of the Board, Kip Woodward, says the health authority incurred more than 125-thousand dollars in costs related to six big sporting events and music festivals in 2014– including Crankworx and the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
“Pick anywhere in healthcare you could spend another $125,000 on, it would nice to have even costs at the end of the day. The municipalities seem to recover their costs, policing, they all recover their costs, so it’s just another cost recovery.”
Some organizers contract out medical support, but it isn’t required.
Laurie Leith, the Operations Director for the Sea to Sky Corridor, says events are getting larger, but there is no framework to force organizers to pay up.
“As they build, and as they change in their nature of the events, it just puts that much more cost on our system. What is does, is it takes away from other areas where we could use that money.”
Some of the costs went towards operating the medical mobile unit at two events, which was also used during the Olympics.
Crankworx, the extreme mountain biking event, cost the health care system nearly 34-thousand dollars last year.
Organizers say they do take measures to address medical needs, such as:
- Crankworx uses the Whistler Bike Patrol, which includes a full staff of trained medical personal, with a minimum of Occupational First Aid Level 3, Outdoor Emergency Care and CPR Level C (many are paramedics, but it is not a requirement for the job).
- We bring on additional patrol to beef up the number of patrollers we would normally have in the Bike Park to ensure we have enough medical supports in place to fully service all of the events. This represents a cost of $14,000.
- For everything outside of the Whistler Bike Park, we contract a private medical company, Backcountry Trail Patrol, spending $20,000 to cover just three events (Pump Track, the Village Crit and the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro).