Incredible as it may seem, the province of Quebec in Canada does not have an emergency medical helicopter transport service.
Did this contribute to the 'window of opportunity" to save Natasha Richardson's life?
This is pure speculation on my part, but the question also arose in an article posted on the Associated Press' web site this morning.
The high visibility of this tragedy should awaken the medical community and it's provincial medical authorities to the sad nature of a system that does not meet a standard available in most of the North American Continent. While fairly remote and isolated Mount Tremblant
is a world class ski resort which draws an international crowd of ordinary, famous, stars and celebrities.
While skiing is not considered a dangerous sport, in reality it is a fairly high risk activity, witness the presence of many orthopedic surgeons and/or urgent care centers dedicated to treating sportsmen with fractures, sprains, and concussions.
The Mt Tremblant web site now displays the following warning:
The helmet is now mandatory for all snow parks users.
Is this the inevitable outcome of a nationalized health care system, where everything is planned and budgeted years in advance or simple negligence? Natalie Richardson and Mr Neelsen will not benefit from this lack of services, however hopefully it will stimulate a provincial outrage in Quebec. The lack of speedy medical helicopter transportation effects not only this ski resort but the entire province and cities in Quebec. Undoubtedly this accident will create mandatory ski helmet rules at all ski facilities around the world. Some of the helmets are "way cool".. I might even take up skiing once again.