Arabnews24.ca:Wednesday 17 August 2022 12:52 PM: Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones says the province is expanding a program that allows paramedics to take patients somewhere other than an emergency room, such as a mental health facility, or to treat them on scene.
Jones says she will be releasing a broader plan this week aimed at health system stability and recovery.
The minister made her remarks in a speech to the Association of Municipalities Ontario conference Wednesday. It comes as a nursing staffing shortage has seen emergency departments across the province close for hours or days at a time throughout the summer.
The first phase of the paramedic pilot project was launched in 2020 with programs in more than 40 municipalities. There are 444 municipalities in Ontario.
Jones said initial results show patients are accessing care 17 times more quickly, and 94 per cent didn't go to the ER in the few days following care.
She says the innovative projects give people, including palliative care patients and those experiencing mental health and addictions challenges, the option of receiving more appropriate care at home or in the community.
Jones says those 911 models of care are being expanded to more municipalities, but doesn't specify how many or where in her speech.