Ambulance service meeting response time targets - meeting the cost for the last half of the ten yeat plan is not going to be easy.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 24th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Despite a 5.5 per cent increase in call volumes and a 4.4 per cent increase in patients transported compared to 2014, Halton paramedics continue to meet response time targets.

Halton ambulance

45 vehicles in the fleet now – 69 at the end of the ten year plan.

Over the past 10 years, overall emergency and non-emergency call volumes have increased 47.6 per cent in Halton, from 29,054 in 2006 to 42,881 in 2015. The number of patients transported over the same 10-year period has increased 45.5 per cent, from 19,222 to 27,959. In 2015, the Region handled 2,217 more calls and transported 1,175 more patients than in 2014.

Paramedic - response times

Response times have been maintained despite significant increases in the need for service.

9-1-1 calls from Halton residents have increased every year for the past seven years, clearly showing an increased demand for emergency care in the region. The primary drivers for increased call volumes are population and employment growth, along with the impact of an aging population.

To ensure that the Region is prepared to address the various pressures related to providing paramedic services, Halton Regional Council approved the Paramedic Services 10-Year Master Plan in 2015.

Paramedic who uses graph

As the Region’s population ages the demand for service from the seniors’ is going to rise – Burlington will have more seniors than any other municipality in the Region.

As part of the Paramedic Services 10-Year Master Plan, Halton Region has taken several measures to enhance the level of emergency care available to residents, including:

• maintaining the existing population to paramedic staffing ratio;
• enhancing technology to ensure the Paramedic Services division has the tools to remain responsive and efficient;
• the approval to begin construction on two new paramedic stations: Southwest Oakville Station on Rebecca Street and East Milton Station on Fifth Line, south of Derry Road; and
• continually working with local hospitals, neighbouring paramedic services, the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC), the MOHLTC and community partners.

The expansion of the program will require a total of $15.0 million in capital funding, $10.6 million of which is needed within the next five years. This will provide vehicles/defibrillators, IT requirements and will accommodate the centralized reporting station.  Station requirements will be assessed as part of the Regional Accommodation Strategy, and the timing and funding requirements will be further refined through this process.

The capital requirements will be funded through a combination of Regional reserves, debt and development charges (DC). With respect to the capital expenditures, approximately 65% of growth-related costs will be funded from DCs, and this funding requirement will be incorporated in the next DC by-law update currently scheduled in 2016.

paramedic - equipment needs

A 53% increase in the number of vehicles is projected in the ten year plan.

The increase in operating expenditures would total $12.6 million, with $6.0 million expected in the first five years (2016-2020) and $6.6 million in the remaining forecast period (2021-2026), driven mainly by the staff cost. The estimated operating impact includes subsidy at 48% of the cost share ratio based on funding provided in recent years. When combined with capital financing impact, the net increase in operating cost totals $3.8 million in the first five years and $3.6 million in the remaining years. This represents an average annual budget increase of $752,000 in the first five years and $596,000 in the remaining forecast period.

Paramedic 10 yera budget

Costs are going to increase by 50% by the end of the ten year plan.

These services are not cheap.
The increased costs are were included in the 2015 budget forecast, at an average annual budget increase of $538,000 (2016-2020) and $404,000 (2021-2026). With these provisions taken into account, the additional incremental impact anticipated in the forecast is an average annual increase of $214,000 for the first five years and $192,000 for the remaining years. The financial impact of the staffing and capital program will be determined annually through the budget process.

getting new - yellow“The Region is committed to ensuring Halton residents receive timely emergency responses and high quality care when they need it most,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “The Paramedic Services Division Annual Update shows that in 2015 our Paramedics continued to meet Council-approved response time targets in every category. The Region remains focused on achieving these important targets to ensure we support the health and well-being of all Halton residents.”

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