Response to the Auditor General's 2013 Annual Report
TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Paramedic
Chiefs (OAPC) would like to thank the Auditor General for the in-depth
review of the land ambulance system in Ontario. We welcome any input
that makes the system more effective for the almost one million
Ontarians who use it every year.
In terms of the review the OAPC supports a number of her findings;
however there are a few areas where we believe more detail and context
is required. We also want to note that the Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care identified a number of issues previously and we have
recently begun working with them to address these issues.
In particular we would like to note that
A large concern on the part of the OAPC is the issue of provincially
controlled dispatch services. We believe that the provincial model has
not been effective for many years and a municipal centered model, which
includes municipal accountability, needs to be considered to ensure
effective and efficient dispatch.
In terms of response times, it should be noted that an effective and
efficient EMS system is about much more than fast response times.
Paramedics are delivering out-of-hospital health care and the vast
majority of our calls are not sensitive to time in seconds or minutes.
Additionally, we believe that there is a requirement for a mutually
agreed to definition of "transfer of care" and measuring the
same. Issues like increased pressure on emergency departments and
hospital staffing also need to be considered when establishing
Out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates is a poor measure of EMS
system performance as the care received by patients in hospital after
cardiac arrest has a greater influence on long-term survival than the
care provided by EMS alone. EMS are much more than response to these
types of calls (they represent <1% of the total) and survival rates
depend not only on rapid EMS response and excellent paramedic care but
critically with early citizen activation of EMS, early bystander CPR
and defibrillation, and other indicators of public health and
In addition further work and discussion needs to take place with regards
to the Auditor's comments on specialized care and transport to
Going forward the members of the OAPC will continue to work closely with
the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on improving the land
ambulance service in this province.
The OAPC is a not for profit association that represents the paramedic
leadership of every Ontario municipality, Ornge, and some first
nations. It is the primary voice of municipal EMS providing advice and
recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the
Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).
OAPC MISSION STATEMENT
Promoting a culture of change surrounding paramedicine that is guided by
evidence based decision-making and seeks best practices in the
provision of service.
For further information contact Jim Price, OAPC Executive Director at
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs
For further information:
807 627 5173