B.C. Health Ministry reviewing delivery of emergency services

By The Canadian Press
February 5, 2016 - 4:50pm Updated: February 5, 2016 - 5:42pm

VANCOUVER — The agency that oversees British Columbia’s paramedics and ambulance system has created a plan it hopes will better serve the province’s growing — and aging — population.

The plan stems from the B.C. Emergency Health Services review of more than 350,000 emergency responses by ground ambulances in Metro Vancouver and Victoria.

Five areas have been identified for improvement, including cutting dispatch and response times, and decreasing ambulance turn-around times from hospitals and patient transfers.

Emergency Health Services spokeswoman Linda Lupini notes eight additional ambulances and 34 full-time equivalent positions have already been added in Metro Vancouver.

Health Minister Terry Lake says increased demand from aging residents and growing rates of complex, chronic diseases put emergency services to the test.

He says prevention and better primary care can reduce demand on emergency services, but adds that continued modernization and a responsive ambulance system is still critical.

The Canadian Press

Fatal accident closes Highway 1 near Chase