Skip to main content

Geo-Positioning of Ambulances in Manitoba needs to be revisited


Thursday April 19 I spoke, in a Members Statement, on emergency medical services in rural Manitoba and the need to revisit the current plan to geo-position ambulances away from communities.   My comments are on video at this link, or in text from Hansard below:

Geo-Positioning of Ambulances

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I rise to talk about the government's approach to geo-positioning ambulances at sites which are far away from the communities they serve.

      The government's approach would have paramedics and ambulances positioned around the clock at what are called geo-positioned sites derived from a computer. These sites are often a considerable distance from any community and where population density is low. While paramedics are positioned at  these sites they are waiting for emergency calls, but are not able to contribute in other ways to health care because they are some distance from any community.

      The alternative, Madam Speaker, is exemplified by the situations in Boissevain and Grandview. Here, close to the highest local population density and, in particular, the highest density of seniors who are the most likely to need an ambulance for heart attacks or strokes, paramedics are stationed in the community. Because the ambulance station is within or close to the hospital complex, paramedics contribute to care within the hospital when there's not an emergency call for them to attend. This is helpful and adds to the  quality of health care that's available. Average ambulance response times are quick. I'm told it is only six minutes in Boissevain. I'm also told having the paramedics and ambulances on call and available during the night in town works well in Boissevain.

      I ask the government to do what Reg Toews suggested in his report: complete a full consultation with people before committing to implementing the geo-positioning system. It may work well for Nova Scotia, but may not be optimum for health care in Manitoba.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

We must stop the Pallister government from implementing the KPMG proposed cuts to children's hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing implant processors and FM transmitters.

The Phase II report from KPMG on the Health System Sustainability and Innovation Review makes a recommendation that the government decrease the level of provincial support for children's hearing aids, for bone-implant processors and FM transmitters.    These are devices which are very important for enabling children with hearing difficulties to hear.   We have recently (2016) finally achieved universal newborn hearing screening after many years of advocating for this.   It is essential that children who are identified at birth as hearing deficient have the support for enable them to hear as good as they can hear with the support of hearing aids and Cochlear implants.  When children have a hearing deficiency, they have difficulty hearing and this translates into difficulties learning and often to behavioural and other problems down the road.  We need to ensure that these children are enabled to do well.   The provincial government should definitely not reduce support for this progr…

Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party win big in the St. Boniface by-election

Today Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party came out substantially ahead of Blandine Tona of the NDP in the St. Boniface by-election.   Francoise Therrien-Vrignon of the Green Party was in third and Mamadou Ka of the Progressive Conservatives was fourth.  This is a major victory for Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party.  It will mean our Liberal Leader is in the Legislature.  It will also mean that the Manitoba Liberal Party will have what is called "Official Party Status" in the Manitoba Legislature, with more resources and more ability to contribute inside and outside the Legislature - in holding the government to account and in contributing constructively to helping achieve a better Manitoba. 

Hundreds of teachers rally at the Manitoba Legislature - for Kids not Cuts.

A very large crowd of teachers assembled at the Manitoba Legislature this afternoon.  They came protesting the cuts the Pallister government have made to the support of children and children's learning.   One of the speeches which resonated with me was from a teacher in Brandon who spoke about the difference it can make to helping a child with a learning disability, a speech delay or an anxiety issue.   Under the Pallister cuts the children as most risk are most affected.   Helping kids who are struggling can make a difference which lasts a lifetime and enables such children to succeed.  We need to stand strong against these Pallister cuts to help children who are doing their best to learn