../Morning Post
Posted May 17 , 2010
Health Care

ER Nurses Improving Access to Care in Waterloo Region

The Ontario Government is Reducing Time Paramedics Spend In Hospitals

Waterloo - Ontario is hiring more nurses in Waterloo Region who are dedicated to assisting patients who arrive in emergency rooms (ERs) by ambulance.

Ontario is providing $262,809 to the Region of Waterloo to hire nurses who will help reduce the time paramedics spend in hospital ERs by providing care to non-priority patients who arrive by ambulance. This allows paramedics to respond to other calls in the community rather than attending to patients in the ER. Municipalities that have hired dedicated ER nurses in the past have reported seeing significant reductions in offload delays.

Hiring more ER-dedicated nurses is a key part of the government’s Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

“This initiative is an important part of our plan to increase access to emergency care. Having nurses dedicated to ambulance patients allows ambulances to return more quickly to the community and be available to respond to other emergency calls,” said John Milloy, MPP Kitchener Centre.

“As a community, we are very grateful for the tremendous work of our nurses and paramedics”, said Leeanna Pendergast, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “Since taking office, the McGuinty government has hired over 10,000 nurses throughout Ontario. These new nursing positions are yet another example of our government’s commitment towards ensuring Ontario’s hospitals, not only remain some of the world’s best, but are improved to provide even greater access to health care for our community.”

"Delays in transferring patients from ambulances once they arrive at area emergency rooms directly affects the response times of ambulances to emergency calls in the community," said Ken Seiling, Regional Chair. "Having nurses dedicated to quickly assessing patients transferred by ambulance should help us in our efforts to improve ambulance response times in Waterloo Region."

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