Jun 05, 2017

By Michael Kramer

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Ontario is revamping the province’s ambulance system.

The move would re-direct some patients whose needs are less pressing – to locations other than emergency rooms.

The government says the new ambulance system will start rolling out in March 2018 – prioritizing calls based on patient need.

The Liberal government says more than one million patients were transported by land or air ambulance in 2015 – but only one per cent of them were the most critically ill – requiring immediate emergency transportation.

The government plans to update the Ambulance Act to allow paramedics to provide on-scene treatment – and if it’s appropriate – refer patients to primary care or community care, instead of hospitals.

And the Wynne government says increased flexibility would reduce unnecessary trips to emergency departments – lessening overcrowding and easing wait times.

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