A “frustrating” refusal by the province has not weakened the city’s resolve to launch a taxis-as-ambulances pilot project, Ottawa’s paramedic chief told reporters on Wednesday, explaining that an opportunity may be hiding in what the ministry didn’t say.

The City of Ottawa proposed the pilot last autumn as a way to offset the hours paramedics are waiting at overcrowded emergency rooms. These delays lead to “code zero” events where no ambulance is available for calls.

The trial would have allowed paramedics to send patients with non-serious injuries to hospital in a taxi instead.

“That kind of creative solution is exactly what we need,” said Mayor Mark Sutcliffe. “So, I was a little bit surprised by the fact that the province wasn’t in agreement.”

  • BedSharkPalOP
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    2 months ago

    There’s got to be some sort of middle ground. I’d love to hear why the province takes issue with the proposal.

    • streetfestival
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      2 months ago

      I’d also be curious why the province takes issue. I think the reason probably is that a need for such a band-aid solution reveals that the system is broken; and maybe implementing the former proves the latter. It is notable that both paramedics and the city are behind this and the province says no. Tensions, clearly

      • BedSharkPalOP
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        2 months ago

        If they are just playing politics with the health and well being of their constituents, then it would be nice if there were consequences for them.

    • Hobbes_Dent@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      BC has somewhat of a middle ground. Low-acuity “waiting room” type complaints are allowed to be delivered to the waiting room by ambulance with some paperwork - no further handover, triage, etc.

      In practice it works but isn’t too often used in my experience. But it frees up the ambulance faster in cases where it’s used appropriately.

    • FiveMacs
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      1 month ago

      I’m sure anything that could help public healthcare is just shunned by them…can’t make money in private if public exists.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    2 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    A “frustrating” refusal by the province has not weakened the city’s resolve to launch a taxis-as-ambulances pilot project, Ottawa’s paramedic chief told reporters on Wednesday, explaining that an opportunity may be hiding in what the ministry didn’t say.

    The City of Ottawa proposed the pilot last autumn as a way to offset the hours paramedics are waiting at overcrowded emergency rooms.

    The trial would have allowed paramedics to send patients with non-serious injuries to hospital in a taxi instead.

    The news was also disappointing to Pierre Poirier, chief of the Ottawa Paramedic Service, but in that rejection he saw an opportunity.

    “We look forward to reviewing their revised proposal,” said Hannah Jensen, a spokesperson for Ontario’s health minister.

    The mayor said he’s hopeful that the province will work with the paramedic chief to find a solution.


    The original article contains 346 words, the summary contains 130 words. Saved 62%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!