Province provides funding to Waterloo Region to speed up ambulance drop-offs at hospitals

The province has given $1.65 million to Waterloo Paramedic Services and the region’s three hospitals to help alleviate the ambulance shortage the region has faced in recent years.

The one-time funding is intended to fund designated nurses who will be present in hospitals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to a release from the Region of Waterloo.

The goal is to reduce the time ambulances spend in hospitals in order to get them back on the road.

“Reducing offload times allows our paramedics to get out into the community to help people and save lives,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman.

The current funding round is expected to cover costs until the end of next March.

This is the second time this year the province has provided funding to help alleviate this problem.

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Last February, it provided funding to resolve the problem for the month of March, as the number of yellow codes and red codes had increased enormously in 2022.

Yellow codes occur when there are only a few ambulances available to respond to calls, while red codes occur when there are no ambulances available to respond to calls.

In Waterloo Region, there were 87 Code Reds in the first nine months of 2022, a significant increase from 21 in the same period a year earlier, according to a report prepared by Waterloo Paramedic Services. Waterloo region.

“Paramedic services are currently losing the equivalent of three 12-hour ambulance shifts per day to reduce delays; which more than negates the two additional 12-hour ambulance shifts added by Council in July 2022,” the report said.

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