SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's only active air ambulance company announced Tuesday that it has suspended its services, blaming a multimillion-dollar government debt.
Aeromed said in a statement that it has been negotiating with the U.S. territory's government for nearly three years, but that government officials last week rejected a deal to pay $4.4 million, a portion of a much larger overall debt.
"We acknowledge the government's fiscal situation ... but there is no way we can continue to offer our services with inconsistent payments and fees that are unsustainable," said Aeromed director Jose Hernandez.
A growing number of companies in Puerto Rico are suspending services because of mounting government debt amid a 10-year economic slump.
Government officials said they would boost ambulance services by land, but medical authorities are warning that some lives are being put at risk.
Puerto Rico is seeking to restructure $70 billion in public debt that the governor has said is unpayable.