Waterloo Region getting money from province to help solve ambulance issues

To address the ongoing ambulance shortage leading to Code Red and Yellow in the Waterloo area, the state is sending funds to boost emergency room staffing in area hospitals.

The Department of Health is providing $743,706 to three local hospitals through a dedicated off-road nurse program, according to the region.

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Rita Sharratt, Director of Emergency and Mental Health Programs at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, said:

The funds, which will be split between Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital, are intended to provide additional staff and shorten travel times for ambulances to unload patients.

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The funds will be used for staffing 12 hours a day, and 24 hours a day in March.

Code Yellow occurs when there are only a few ambulances available to answer the call, while Code Red occurs when there are no ambulances available to answer the call.

The Waterloo region had 87 code reds in the first nine months of 2022, up from 21 in the same period last year, according to a recent report produced by the Waterloo Region Emergency Medical Service.

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“Emergency medical services are currently losing three 12-hour ambulance shifts per day to eliminate delays. Denied two additional 12-hour ambulance shifts added by Congress in July 2022. more than it does,” the report said.

Regional councils approved the 2023 budget last week. This included her additional $63 million for emergency medical services to enable four new ambulances and 20 new paramedics.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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