Dr. David Swann and the Alberta Liberal Opposition have launched an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Hotline: 1-888-442-4664
The Hotline will give Albertans and EMS staff a chance to anonymously report concerns with the Provincial EMS system including delays in response times and hours waiting in ER hallways.
Swann and Khan exposed wasteful mismanagement within EMS earlier this year which delays EMS response times, impacts patient safety and increases staff overtime. EMS staff worked 135,000 hours overtime. That O.T. cost Alberta taxpayers around $12 million in extra wages in 2016.
AHS data showed that 2 member EMS crews spent 650,000 hours in one year waiting in emergency rooms to transfer patients to attending nurses. The median wait time in Alberta is nearly four times greater than the United Kingdom standard of 15 minutes.
Swann stated, “I believe the EMS Hotline will help us learn more about the crisis in our EMS system. Alberta Liberals will use this data to push for solutions and pressure the NDP Government to take urgent needed action.”
Khan stated, “The NDP announced $25 million more in spending for EMS in this year’s Budget. We still don’t know how this money is being spent or if it will address these issues.
“Alberta Liberals want immediate policy changes that will target excessive overtime hours and hallway wait times. Albertans deserve a better EMS system.”
In addition to the EMS Hotline, the Alberta Liberals are also issuing a survey to EMS workers to learn more about their workplace challenges and solutions.
Albertans can share their EMS concerns by calling the Hotline at 1-888-442-4664. Their identities and information will be protected. If they prefer to share their experiences in writing they can send an email in confidence to hotlineEMSalberta@gmail.com
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann respond to Health Minister’s EMS Hotline Criticism
Alberta Liberals set up the EMS Hotline with the best intentions for the benefit of all Albertans. The NDP Health Minister claims we are being irresponsible. We strongly disagree.
Khan stated, “In fact, we are being honest with Albertans by helping expose the issues plaguing EMS. We are giving frontline staff and patients a chance to confidentially express their experiences and concerns.
“We want more transparency and accountability at EMS. We want Albertans to receive safe, quality service and not have to listen to more partisan attacks and excuses from the NDP Government.”
Swann stated, “EMS union staff have told us they fear disciplinary action by their employer AHS for being whistleblowers. They are reluctant to express concerns through established AHS channels. They don’t want to suffer repercussions by talking about operational problems including slower EMS response times and extended waiting with patients in ER hallways. Alberta Liberals will protect the identity of frontline staff, patients and anyone else who uses the EMS Hotline. They can speak freely. We have their backs.
“We will use their data to help develop solutions—why would the NDP be upset about that?
“Clearly, problems still exist and after three three years in office this NDP Government has not resolved those problems.”
Red Alerts stats are no longer being released by AHS. There is less transparency by this NDP Government and therefore less accountability about EMS delayed response times, costly overtime wages and other concerns.
Alberta Liberals want to spur the release of more of that important information to all Albertans. Taxpayers deserve to know what problems continue in EMS so the system can be improved. We believe the Liberals’ EMS Hotline will help to achieve those goals.
Khan added, “We want to be part of the thoughtful solutions at EMS that will help all Albertans. We do not want to be part of the Government’s cover-up.
“Albertans deserve a high quality, efficient EMS system that puts patients first and safeguards frontline staff.”
Source: Alberta Liberal Party