November 22, 2019

** Winnipeg struggling with ambulance diversion upswing

CANADA NEWS

** Ambulance diversions in Winnipeg, Manitoba are apparently increasing. That is the word from CTV News (Stephanie Tsicos/November 8) which said the problem is centred around the city’s two largest hospitals. Both the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and St. Boniface Hospital have seen spikes over the last two years. HSC noted 1,242 diversions between January and September, similar to 2016 totals at 1,292. St. Boniface, meanwhile, had twice as many ambulance diversions occur during this period compared to the last four years. Three hundred redirections took place in the first nine months of the year. In 2018, for instance, the stat was 158. One reason for the jump may be the transition of several hospital emergency departments to urgent care centres instead. The numbers have prompted the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) to tweak related protocols. WRHA chief nursing officer and chief health operations officer Krista Williams said the changes have already improved stats for October. Along with this, Paramedic Association of Manitoba administrative director Rebecca Clifton said the public needs to know there may be alternate resources to ambulances when their condition is not an emergency.

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