Vancouver –Today BC Emergency Health Services is announcing 30 new paramedics and three additional ambulances to support the health of people living in Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith.
Twenty four full-time paramedics will be hired in Nanaimo, and two full time positions will be created in each of the three nearby communities.
“With growing call volumes and few fulltime staff this investment only makes sense,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “We are improving services the community counts on and ensuring paramedics are there when people need them.”
The hirings are part of an ongoing commitment to increase the number of paramedics and improve ambulance services where they are needed in both urban and rural areas of the province.
The Nanaimo area is one of the first areas to be reviewed as part of the BCEHS Action Plan. The area has relatively high 9-1-1 call volumes and patient transfers, and low number of regular full-time staff. There was an ever-increasing dependence on on-call casual work.
“These additional full-time positions will allow us to enhance the paramedic services we currently provide to the residents of Vancouver Island," said Linda Lupini, Executive Vice President of BCEHS.
In addition to staff and ambulance there will be improvements made in staff scheduling to ensure coverage at peak times. Similar planning in metro Vancouver recently resulted in the addition of 10 full time and eight regular part-time paramedic positions and three additional ambulances. Other areas of the province are also under review by BCEHS as part of its action plan, and changes will be announced once they become finalized.
“We’re encouraged to see the addition of more paramedic positions and resources to the Nanaimo area,” said Cameron Eby, President of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC - CUPE 873. “These new paramedic positions increase Nanaimo area residents’ access to highly skilled front-line medical professionals, while providing new job opportunities.”
The positions will be awarded based on provincial seniority as per the CUPE 873 Collective Agreement. Current on-call paramedics in Nanaimo can apply for the permanent positions, as can other full-time or on-call employees working elsewhere, who wish to relocate to the Nanaimo area.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is responsible for the delivery and governance of pre-hospital emergency medical care and inter-facility patient transfer services through the BC Ambulance Service and the BC Patient Transfer Network. BCEHS is supported by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). For more information, please visit www.bcehs.ca or follow us on Twitter @BC_EHS.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.
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