Province announces changes to palliative ambulance transport

By Lethbridge Herald July 7, 2021.

Patients will no longer be sent to emergency rooms until ambulances take them to hospice facilities.
The change in procedures for paramedics and paramedics is happening across the province, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in Medicine Hat on Tuesday morning.
St. Michael’s is one of the first ten facilities that will be able to accept patients directly from ambulances when emergency care is not required.
This includes those who move from the family environment to palliative care in the later stages of life.
Shelly Murphy is the Rural Care Manager for Covenant Health and was on hand for the announcement on Tuesday.
“Those we serve here will be positively affected by the expansion of services,” she said.
“They won’t have to go to the emergency room, they can come right here and we know the benefits of that.”
“Palliative care aims to provide a quality of life… (this) supports vulnerable and often fragile patients with transport and therefore direct access to services. “
Shandro said the policy requires people using an ambulance to be treated in emergency rooms before moving to other locations, but this can cause delays and immobilize drivers as well as emergency personnel.
In some cases, such as transportation to palliative situations or other non-urgent calls, is not always necessary, he said.
“This will reduce delays for some patients, which means they will receive better service, means less delays for paramedics, so EMS can better use its resources and divert some patients from emergency departments, which means less burden, ”he said.
The change is also effective immediately at five other facilities in Alberta, including St. Joseph’s Home Carmel Hospice in Medicine Hat and others in Sylvan Lake, Bashaw, La Crete and Rainbow Lake in northern Alberta.
Four others expected to be accredited by the end of the year are the Magrath Health Center, the Piyami Helath Center in Picture Butte as well as the East Calgary Health Center and the Slave Lake Family Care Clinic.
Shandro said he had scheduled meetings in Bassano and Brooks later today alongside Brooks-Medicine Hat MP Michaela Glasgo.


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Linda Stewart

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