Thursday, 26 November 2009 06:00

EMS AND AIR MEDICAL REVIEWS COMPLETED

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Health Minister Don McMorris today released reports on Saskatchewan's road and air ambulance systems.

The reviews were initiated late last year to provide a basis for future planning and delivery of emergency medical services (EMS) in the province.

"These reports are the result of extensive consultation with health professionals, health regions and health sector stakeholders," McMorris said, following a meeting with the Saskatchewan Emergency Medical Services Association (SEMSA) and regional health authority representatives. "They provide us with a much-needed road map for sustainable, efficient and fair emergency medical services that meet the needs of all residents of Saskatchewan."

The reviews were co-ordinated with the government's Patient First Review, and recommendations related to the provision of EMS are consistent.

Among the key recommendations in the EMS Review is a shift to a "Mobile Health Services" system that is more integrated with other areas of the health care system. This new vision includes opportunities for augmenting patient care at the community level. The report also identifies inter-hospital transfer fees and a lack of consistency in services across the province as areas of concern.

The Air Medical Review was conducted by Ornge, an organization that provides road ambulance and air medical services across Ontario.

"I sincerely thank the individuals and organizations who offered their thoughts and suggestions during these reviews," McMorris said. "We are committed to following up on the reports, and taking action that will benefit patients."

The recommendations will be considered in the 2010-2011 budget process.

Copies of the reports are posted at www.health.gov.sk.ca/ems-review-report.

Saskatchewan road ambulance services responded to approximately 105,000 calls in 2008-09. Saskatchewan Air Ambulance provides about 1,600 flights annually.