New ambulances and more than 100 additional paramedics will help Albertans get faster emergency care when they need it.
The new paramedics are part of the Alberta government’s five point emergency medical services (EMS) action plan. Supported with a $29-million increase for EMS in Budget 2018, the province is strengthening EMS across Alberta, alleviating pressures on emergency rooms and supporting frontline workers by:
- hiring more paramedics in communities across the province
- deploying new ambulances in urban and rural Alberta;
- improving the transfer of patients from paramedic teams to hospital emergency departments
- supporting ongoing expansion of the Community Paramedic program
- investing $1 million to support the mental health of EMS workers
“Albertans want to know that they and their loved ones will be taken care of if they face a medical emergency. That’s why our government is taking action to strengthen emergency services and support frontline EMS workers. With more ambulances on the road and more paramedics ready to respond, Albertans will have improved access to emergency medical care when it matters.”
~Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health
“Patient care drives every decision we make. These investments allow us to address some key priorities and improve access to care for Albertans. This targeted spending provides additional support where we need it most both rurally and in our metro operations, and improves our ability to continue to respond to patients whenever and wherever they have an emergency.”
~Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services
“After years of work to bring attention to the critical state of EMS in Alberta, we are very happy to stand with this Minister, and this government, who not only offered her well wishes but found real money for real boots on the ground. As a result of this announcement today, Albertans across the province can feel just a little more assured that the emergency care they need will be there when they need it.”
~Mike Hennig, co-chair, Edmonton Metro EMS Local, Health Sciences Association of Alberta
- The Alberta Health Budget 2018 provides $524 million for EMS in 2018-19, a $29-million increase from 2017.
- In February 2018, government invested $11 million to expand the Community Paramedic Program, which allows paramedics to provide care to seniors and other vulnerable Albertans in their homes and now operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Camrose, Grande Prairie, Peace River, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.
- Hospital Emergency Liaison Officers help improve the transfer of care of patients from EMS ambulance crews to the emergency department, freeing the crews to return to the community more quickly.
- A new psychologist will support the mental health of EMS workers and help paramedics work through the emotional stress involved in delivering front-line emergency medical care.
By the numbers
- New ambulances
- Edmonton – 5
- Calgary – 10
- Grande Prairie – 1
- Medicine Hat – 1
- Expanded hours for 5 ambulances to 24/7 coverage in Vilna, St. Paul, Westlock and Sylvan Lake
- New EMS staff
- Edmonton – 28
- Calgary – 30
- Grande Prairie – 8
- Medicine Hat – 8
- Sylvan Lake – 4
- Vilna – 4
- St. Paul – 4
- Westlock – 4
- New Hospital Emergency Liaison Officers
- Edmonton – 8
- Calgary – 8