Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA Dr David Swann launch EMS Hotline

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

Khan and Dr. Swann will host a News Conference at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 19, at the Calgary-Mountain View Constituency Office (#102, 723 – 14 Street NW, Calgary).

They will also be available for interviews by phone or Skype.


Morley medical crisis exposes inadequate EMS Surge Capacity

Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann says the Morley medical crisis may have put Calgary patients at risk due to EMS resources being stretched beyond capacity by the crisis.

EMS said at least 6 ambulances arrived on the scene to deal with 15 patients on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. Tragically, one child died and 14 others were hospitalized yesterday.

Dr. Swann stated, “This issue demonstrates EMS’s lack of surge capacity. This event stretched EMS to its limits. Sources indicated EMS needed to call off-duty paramedics to meet the extra demand and an ambulance from Priddis, another from Kananaskis and two from Calgary had to be called in. EMS was clearly under-resourced for this mass patient event.

“Sources indicated a city-wide appeal was made to find 5 ambulances free to travel an hour out to Morley. This left the City vulnerable to any large patient event and highlights the fact that we cannot safely manage a major disaster.”

“The issue could have been worse. Morley has a unique-in-Alberta policy in place that forbids flexing their ambulances to other jurisdictions. Without this policy in place it could have potentially made this tragedy much worse.

“95% of patient transfers are taking over 15 minutes in Alberta.The Minister could end excessive hallway waits tomorrow by directing AHS, as they have in the UK and Israel, to make 15 minutes the standard transfer time from EMS to nursing staff within15 minutes. Failure to fix this will inevitably result in preventable loss of life.”

Dr. Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or skype.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann demands NDP Government end hallway waits for EMS

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann demands the NDP Government solve the EMS Crisis.

“More money for ambulances and paramedics will not reduce the wasted transfer time from paramedic to nurse in the ER”, he said.

Alberta paramedics are spending 650, 000 wasted hours per year waiting for patient transfers at emergency rooms with a median wait time of 53 minutes and 42 seconds. This takes ambulances out of commission and costs Albertans $20 million a year.

Swann stated, “In Great Britain any delay of more than 15 minutes is deemed a potential threat to life. When it hits 30 minutes it’s considered a crisis. So why is this NDP Government content to let Alberta patients wait for 1 hour?

“The funding increase from this Government is not enough. More money is not a strategy. AHS must shorten emergency room transfer times. The UK and Israel have done it. What is Alberta waiting for?”

 

Dr. Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or skype.


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann exposes wasteful mismanagement in EMS

Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has revealed new information about wasteful mismanagement in EMS.

“A FOIP obtained by the Alberta Liberals shows that Alberta’s paramedics worked 135,000 hours of overtime in 2016. That equates to almost $10 million in extra wage costs.”

“The AHS and NDP Government need to hire more paramedics to reduce this unnecessary expense.” Swann told reporters today.

Swann says other systemic issues include EMS services not keeping pace with the needs of Albertans.

“AHS statistics show EMS events are up almost 19% over 5 years but there has only been a 2.9% increase in new ambulances and 3.4% increase in new full-time equivalent paramedics. Additionally, there were more than 63,000 extra EMS calls over the past 5 years. EMS is stretched to the limits trying to handle the needs of over 500,000 new Albertans.”

“The latest AHS data also indicates EMS staff wait a median time of nearly 1 hour when transferring a patient in ER to the attending nurses – equivalent to just over $20 million dollars a year in lost time.”

“Paramedics spend more than 650,000 hours in ER awaiting patient transfer to nursing staff.”

DR Swann is available for interviews by phone or on Skype.


Liberal MLA David Swann and Liberal Leader David Khan says EMS Union (HSAA) data shows systemic crisis

Liberal MLA David Swann says, “The NDP Government should immediately boost frontline resources for EMS across Alberta.”

“AHS statistics show EMS events are up almost 19% over 5 years but there has been only a 2.9% increase in new ambulances and 3.4% increase in new full-time equivalent paramedics.”

“EMS is struggling to meet day-to-day demands of Albertans and the situation is escalating.”

“The opioid crisis is only making the crisis worse and lives are at stake.”

“When ambulances cannot reach patients in a timely fashion the safety of those patients is put at risk.”

Liberal Leader David Khan says, “There are more than 63,000 extra EMS calls over the past 5 years and EMS is stretched to the limits to handle the needs of over 500,000 new Albertans.”

“The NDP Government must not only provide additional resources but improve the efficiency of the system with paramedics spending 650,000 hours per year in ER awaiting patient transfers to nursing staff.”

David Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or Skype.

David Khan is available for interview by phone or Skype.

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For more information, contact:

Keegan Wynychuk
Alberta Liberal Opposition
Tel: 780.644.7719
Cell: 780.919.3158
liberal.communications@assembly.ab.ca