Niagara Centre MPP tells Ford that action is needed on EMS shortage in Niagara


Published December 7, 2021 at 3:18 pm

The situation of understaffing in Niagara Region’s EMS is so severe these days that a pizza could likely get to your door more quickly than an ambulance.

To that end, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch is calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to take action over Niagara’s critical shortage in ambulance and EMS services.

“Niagara families deserve to know that if they need emergency medical services, it will be available to them,” said Burch.

“Right now in Niagara, there aren’t enough ambulances or paramedics to help people experiencing medical emergencies. Families should not have to face the anguish of waiting for long periods of time by their sick or injured loved ones, wondering when the ambulance will finally arrive.”

Both Niagara Region Public Health and Social Services Committee has said the current situation is boiling over, as there aren’t enough ambulances to provide emergency coverage for all of Niagara, or to meet response times for critical patients.

CUPE 911, the union that represents Niagara paramedics, state that they are understaffed, under-resourced and burnt-out as the demand for emergency services continues to rise.

On top of the shortage, hospitals are so overburdened that in the last seven months, nearly 350 patients in Niagara were left stranded for four to six hours due to ambulance off-load delays, said Burch, adding that 63 people spent more than six hours on EMS stretchers waiting for a bed.

“Ford is refusing to help while the people of Niagara are laying on stretchers or waiting anxiously for an ambulance to arrive,” Burch said. “Niagara families need their government to hire more paramedics and dispatchers, not to continue to ignore the problem.

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