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BC Emergency Health Services statement on report from Office of the Auditor General of BC

The following statement is from Linda Lupini, Executive Vice President, BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS).
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Every day, BCEHS paramedics, dispatchers, and emergency medical call-takers expertly handle more than 1400 calls. They do an exceptional job of caring for patients, and we are immensely proud of the work they do.

We welcome the latest report from the Office of the Auditor General, as it confirms what’s working well and where more focus is needed to make the great care delivered to patients, even better.

In many ways, the report underscores the critical importance of the BCEHS Action Plan, our three year strategy to improve services. Initiatives in our action plan are already beginning to address a number of issues raised, including improved response times for life-threatening and urgent calls. During the audit period, BCEHS was in the early stages of launching the plan and seeing positive results, and we expect these improvements to continue as we move into the next phases. We are committed to achieving our 2020 performance targets.

Already, BCEHS has added more paramedics, dispatch staff, and ambulances, as we continue to increase resources where they are needed most. This includes 119 regular paramedic positions, more than 100 specialized paramedic positions including community paramedics, 20 emergency dispatchers and six nurses to triage less urgent calls. We are continuing to improve as the next phase includes new pathways to better meet the needs of patients with less-urgent conditions.

The Office of the Auditor General’s report also highlights the importance of our first responder program with municipal fire departments. Fire-Rescue first responders can provide life-saving first aid such as CPR, until paramedics arrive, and together we are saving lives. This partnership is one of the reasons BC is among North America’s best when it comes to survival rates for patients who have a cardiac arrest outside a hospital. We have collaboration agreements with many municipalities to support our paramedics respond to urgent and time-critical conditions, and we value our strong working relationships with them. We welcome the report’s recommendation for improved coordination between our provincial service and these municipal services, and we look forward to working closely with the Ministry of Health to help meet this goal.

We thank the Office of the Auditor General for its work reviewing the ways BCEHS has effectively managed access to ambulance and emergency health services and want to assure British Columbians we are committed to following up on the report’s recommendations to make our services even better.

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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 BC Patient Transfer Services. 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.

For interviews and more information please contact:

Shannon Miller
Communications Officer
604-607-9718

or PHSA Media Line: 778-867-7472
BC Ambulance Service; BCEHS
 
SOURCE: BC Emergency Health Services statement on report from Office of the Auditor General of BC ( )
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