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Ambulance questions linger

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Vauxhall Advance

Issues surrounding emergency medical assistance and ground ambulance service have arisen since Alberta Health Services took over responsibility for those activities.

Opposition members have recently been questioning the province’s record in the legislature since the ambulance take-over, and Little Bow MLA Ian Donovan believes some headway has been made in recognizing there are problems with the system.

“I asked some questions last week, and the minister said that he was going to look into that. The biggest thing that was probably hurting rural Alberta in my eyes was patient relocation, where they’re moving someone from Lethbridge to Calgary, or from Vulcan to Calgary, they’re using a fully-staffed ambulance with a full EMS crew, when in all honesty all they need is a transfer unit.”

Concerns over inter-facility transfer for patients that might not require a full-fledged ambulance service appear to have been taken into consideration by the minister, according to Donovan.

“From what I’ve seen from the health minister, he’s definitely talking about being willing to commit to working towards having proper transfer for just moving people from location to location, instead of taking front-line EMS for multiple hours.

Some questions and concerns will continue to linger for Donovan with regard to ambulance transfers if no action is taken by Alberta Health Services to find a solution.

“For instance, if you went out of Vulcan and you were transferring someone to Calgary just for a regular transfer from location to location, until they’re admitted into Calgary, that ambulance has to stay there, leaving a large rural area without ambulance coverage.”

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