02/04/2014 10:32 EST | Updated 04/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Lack of report keeps air ambulance service on the ground in Manitoba

WINNIPEG - Manitoba's health minister says about a month after the hoped-for completion of a report on a grounded air ambulance service, there is still no word on when STARS will get airborne in the province again.

Chopper flights by the contracted service were halted by the province on Dec. 3 after three critical on-board incidents, including one in which a woman died shortly after she had been transported to hospital.

The government later said she had not been properly ventilated with oxygen.

Health Minister Erin Selby says early January had been targeted for completion of the review of procedures, but the work is not yet finished and there is no word on when STARS will get back in the air.

The government has said that calls normally handled by STARS are being responded to in a timely fashion, usually by ground ambulance.

Manitoba signed a contract with STARS in 2011 at a cost of $12 million a year, and the service has flown nearly 700 missions since then. (CJOB)