City council approves plan to revamp Hamilton Paramedic Service over 10 years


Published May 26, 2022 at 10:53 am

City council approves plan to revamp Hamilton Paramedic Service over 10 years

Hamilton city council approved a 10-year paramedic master plan on Wednesday (May 25) as it looks to revamp how the Hamilton Paramedic Service conducts its business.

The city says the plan was “developed through extensive research, surveys, internal engagement and external consultations with key community partners.”

The master plan identifies five priority areas and 29 objectives, including:

  • Operational Integration
  • Infrastructure Progression
  • Service Delivery Optimization
  • Positive Work Culture Elevation
  • Healthy and Safe Communities Protection and Promotion

“By implementing the plan now, (paramedics) will be able to meet the evolving and growing needs of the community as well as drive advancements in paramedicine,” according to an official city release. “It outlines how efforts will be focused to ensure services are more efficient and enable (paramedics) to proactively respond to change.”

“To ensure the plan continues to address evolving service demands, it will be reviewed and updated yearly, with a complete refresh scheduled at the five-year mark.”

The plan identifies additional paramedic staff, ambulances, and infrastructure requirements to effectively manage current demands. It also includes the anticipated population growth and age demographic changes over the next 10 years. The city says these needs will be addressed annually through the budget process.

The plan proposes fully integrating the provincially operated ambulance dispatch centre as part of the Hamilton Paramedic Service. This includes the development of a clinical hub at the ambulance dispatch centre, which should enable a central access point for health care services to reduce ambulance responses to non-urgent calls that can be safely managed through referral processes. This is aimed at mitigating emergency department pressures and providing support to callers in their own homes.

“Our paramedics continue to play a vital role in the health and safety of our community,” said Michael Sanderson, Hamilton Paramedic Service chief. “Implementing the Hamilton Paramedic Master Plan now, in an economically sustainable framework will allow us to continue to maintain the optimal service our residents need, today and into the future.”

The plan also seeks to transform the patient journey through the health care system by electronically integrating patient information with hospitals and primary care physicians to ensure the right level of care is provided when it is required and where it is appropriate.

All funding requests will be incorporated into the city’s annual capital and operating budget processes for approval each year. The operating budget for Hamilton Paramedics is shared evenly with the Ontario government.

For 2022, the gross operating budget for Hamilton Paramedics is approximately $65.4 million with around 420 staff working out of 18 locations. The municipal tax levy for 2022 is $21.9 million.

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