Ambulance Crisis Leads Paramedics to Demand More Resources

Up to 40 paramedics in uniform will gather at the Legislature in Edmonton tomorrow to demand the provincial government provide more resources to front-line emergency care.

“Ambulance resources are in crisis in Alberta. Far too often, Albertans experiencing a health-care emergency are being forced to wait far too long to get the help they need and deserve,” says Mike Parker, president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), the union that represents about 25,000 health-care professionals, including just over 3,400 paramedics.

“The number of events that led to emergency calls has increased nearly 36 per cent since 2009, while the population of Alberta has increased by more than 15 per cent. Yet, we have virtually the same number of ambulances,” he says.

“Resources have been stretched to breaking point. Injured and sick Albertans are paying the price for the lack of resources as they wait for help to arrive. Paramedics also pay the price with increased stress and mental-health injuries that result from them not being able to provide the quality of care they believe Albertans deserve and from working longer and longer unhealthy shifts, often with no times for bathroom breaks or meals.”

Paramedics will also be in the gallery of the Legislature tomorrow to be recognized for their service. They have chosen this occasion to lobby MLAs for increased EMS resources.

WHAT: Up to 40 paramedics in uniform.

WHERE: On the steps of the Legislature (or in the Rotunda, depending on weather).

TIME: 11:00 a.m.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mike Parker, HSAA president, 780-984-2154, Terry Inigo-Jones, HSAA Communications, 587-990-3394