Paramedic calls up more than 50 per cent in a decade in Oakville, Burlington, Milton

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Published July 11, 2023 at 2:30 pm

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Paramedic calls in Milton, Oakville, Burlington and Halton Hills have increased more than 50 per cent over the last decade.

That’s among the information contained in a report being presented to Halton Regional council tomorrow.

For the 12-month calendar year of 2022, there was an increase in call volume of five per cent compared to the previous 12-month period. The number of patients transported between 2013, and 2022, increased by 37 per cent while patient transports in 2022 increased by four per cent from 2021.

In addition to more paramedic calls, the report also highlights hospital offload delays at Halton’s four hospitals: Joseph Brant in Burlington, Milton District, Georgetown District and Oakville-Trafalgar.

“Hospital offload delay is a systemic healthcare issue that is predominantly attributed to a lack of in-patient hospital beds, which results in admitted patients occupying beds in the emergency department of the hospital,” reads the report.

“The inability to move the patient from the ambulance stretcher to a hospital bed requires paramedics to continue providing care for patients in the emergency department until such time as hospital staff can accept responsibility for the patient and begin providing in-hospital care. The Ministry has previously identified a target time of 30 minutes from the time paramedics arrive at the emergency department until the vehicle is available to respond to another request for service.”

According to the report, since 2020, Joseph Brant and Oakville-Trafalgar have both consistently been within 15 minutes of the 30-min. target. Georgetown was also within 15 minutes until July of last year, when a spike began that lead to waits of over an hour by October.

Milton has had the toughest time staying within the limit, beginning in the second half of 2021. At its worst, last summer, the offload wait time was nearly two hours.”

Forecasts suggest the volume will continue to increase in the region at about five per cent per year.

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