Slave Lake to benefit from new rules on ambulance drop-offs

Leader staff

According to a story in the Calgary Herald, Slave Lake is one of the sites for something new in the way ambulances operate. What’s new is that ambulances can now drop people off at non-emergency care facilities. Previously, they weren’t allowed to do that.

The article says 90,000 patients from 2017 to 2019 were taken to emergency care facilities when emergency care wasn’t what they needed. Something in the operating rules prevented them from being taken anywhere else. That’s changed, and the province expects it will free up ambulance time, plus reducing pressure on hospitals.

It seems unlikely, though, that it would save much ambulance time in Slave Lake. The Family Care Clinic is mentioned as an alternative, non-emergency destination under the new plan. In Slave Lake that is located in the same building as the emergency department, so no time would be saved in that way.

But apparently in other locations, there will be an improvement in efficiency in the system. One way mentioned in the news release is that often at emergency departments, EMS personnel are tied up waiting for their patients to be admitted. The idea if the alternative drop-off facilities were in the picture, time could be saved.

Other benefitting communities mentioned in the article are Sylvan Lake, LaCrete, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Bashaw, Picture Butte, Magrath and Rainbow Lake.

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