Chestermere Strathmore Readers…
Please find below MLA Aheer’s member statement regarding the EMS system.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Like the rest of our health care system, the EMS system is currently under incredible strain.
In my riding of Chestermere-Strathmore I continue to hear from local EMS workers regarding a shortage of ambulances, sustaining staff, underutilized resources, fatigue, and flexibility to address community need within the EMS system.
I hear your concerns, and though AHS has increased the number of paramedic positions by 9 per cent since 2019, we need to address systemic issues. These are life and death decisions.
I understand and I can relate to the stress and anxiety of waiting for an ambulance and I share that with you. I have listened to your personal stories, and have been honoured to hear them, and I am honored to bring your concerns to the Legislature.
Although there are initiatives have also been taken to lift the cap on overtime and the use of alternative destinations are helping to increase capacity, we made a promise to maintain a level of service and me must honour that promise. This requires immediate and continued consultation with our municipalities to see improvements and develop a strong plan.
Mobile integrated health teams are helping to reduce the need for transportation altogether by providing in-house care and support. We are all impacted when EMS response times increase.
The well being of our rural communities, their growth, and economy are dependent on strong services and the safety and health of all our citizens must be a priority.
EMS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year across Alberta.
Over 550,000 events occur each year, involving more than 500 ambulance vehicles with 5,500 EMS practitioners providing care.
Mr. Speaker, regardless of the number of calls, Albertans need to have confidence that EMS will always respond. Through you Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the workers for their dedication and support each day as they care for Albertans and assist them through some of their most challenging moments of their lives. I also want to thank my municipalities for their work, consultation, and wisdom as to how we can improve the system.”
As always, we love to hear from you.
Leela Sharon Aheer, MLA