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Regionalization in Alberta

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  • #16
    It would be nice if it was mentioned in that link which services were contracted and which were being absorbed ( for lack of better term right now) into the region.
    Dave Burn
    (EMT-P Student)
    Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

    Comment


    • #17
      Why not scrap the whole thing...

      I heard on the news this morning that the government has proposed scrapping the whole thing as the costs have escalated beyond where they thought it was feasable. Has anyone heard anything more?
      SRFD905 - Serving since 1998

      *~-|EGH|FTM|-~*

      Comment


      • #18
        Yeah, it seems our health minister has just realized that some of these ambulance services are integrated with their towns' fire departments, and separating the two may become too complex.

        That kind of discovery should have taken place 2+ years ago, not when you're staring down the barrel of a deadline 40 days away!

        Sheesh... some people don't do their homework..
        --jay.

        Comment


        • #19
          aye aye aye.......what next????????

          Personally I think this has gone too fart along to be scrapped. I don't think that after what the Calgary Health Region has done so far by hiring personelle and creating this transition team and spending all the money on fesability studies, convincing the municipalities to back the transition, telling stakeholders that this is happening as of APril 1st. What about the communities that have already written this cost out of thier budget's as they were guaranteed by the government that this was going to happen no matter what. Even the Alberta Urban Municipalites Association is saying not to scrap the idea as it would improve service to rural Alberta. True there was not enough homework done on the part of the government, what did they think that these EMS agencies were just going to hand over thier capital assests that they have had to pay for????? I dont kow it will be interesting as to see what happenas here and if the CHR says anything in the next few days.
          Dave Burn
          (EMT-P Student)
          Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

          Comment


          • #20
            All I can do is laugh - what a bunch of marroons we have in office! Tell everyone your taking over so that no one budgets past April 1st and then 5 weeks before say - uh nope, wasnt a good idea. TAKE YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR A**! Personally I think it is a scare tactic - they realize the cost and want municipalities to help pick up some of the cost. HEY MAHR- REMEMBER WHEN YOU SAID EMS IS HEALTH CARE!

            Maybe the government should fund fire departments to run EMS services . God thats it - im running in the next election!
            Dave
            -I have learned people will forget what you said,
            -People will forget what you did,
            -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

            Comment


            • #21
              You have my vote there Dave. I think they are still going ahead with it. Old Ralphie made promises to too many people about this to let it Die. Also in a province with a surplus of somewhere in the area of 3 Billion Dollars I think they can afford it. They might take a little longer to transistion the urban services but there are quite a few small rural ones that wouldn't cost that much to start with.
              Dave Burn
              (EMT-P Student)
              Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

              Comment


              • #22
                The health regions are to blame! They required operating budgets for all of the services. Once they had those they basically INFLATED the figures! So now they need the true figures - political B.S.!
                -I have learned people will forget what you said,
                -People will forget what you did,
                -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

                Comment


                • #23
                  sure hope they keep some combined services in alberta by the time I'm done my medic.espessialy after spending all that time in Vermillion finishing my 1001's at least I will allways have good momories of the fun times at Brunswick hotel with the other munies . Combined services just make sense in some smaller cities and towns. oh well leave it to this government to mess with a good thing. At least I got a practicum at a service that is combined at least for now..

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Well here we go..........

                    Facing cost estimates up to triple what was expected, the Alberta government has decided to back away from a plan for regional health authorities to take over ambulance services.

                    The transfer was supposed to take place April 1, but Health Minister Iris Evans said cabinet decided to pull back until she gets a clear handle on costs. Two rural health authorities, Palliser in the south and Peace Country in the north, will take on ambulance services this year as a pilot project.

                    Evans said Tuesday her officials were ``underprepared'' for reports from municipalities that the changeover's cost would far outstrip the original $55-million estimate. That estimate didn't take into account things like capital costs and some replacement costs. It also didn't consider the difficulties of splitting ambulance services in communities where they are integrated with fire or police services.

                    ``The review that was done by the consultant over the last six months, before Dec. 1, suggested the costs could be as high as $88 million,'' Evans said.

                    ``Then, when the health authorities actually went from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and came back with their budget requests, the costs were $128 million.''

                    Some estimates have put the cost at as high as $165 million.

                    It would be irresponsible to spend that kind of money without further study, she said. As well, all nine health authorities were adamant in not wanting to take on ambulance services if it would mean losing money from other health-care programs.

                    ``I know this poses an inconvenience for many, but the bottom line is this: I don't think we should be prepared to do it until we're absolutely convinced that we've got the costs and accounting correct.''

                    The decision raises a lot of questions for municipalities that have already written ambulance services out of their 2005 budgets, said Bob Hawkesworth, Calgary alderman and president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

                    ``Some communities have sold off all of their assets, so they don't have any ambulances to deliver emergency medical services,'' he said. ``Others have completely removed it from their budget, so as of April 1, they're not funding it or budgeting for it. Others have laid off their staff . . . so there is tremendous uncertainty now created by this decision.''

                    Evans said the province will look at reimbursing municipalities for any costs they've incurred, but she stopped short of promising the province would cover the costs of operating ambulances.

                    In Edmonton, that cost is about $12 million a year. Mayor Stephen Mandel said he was confident the province will pony up a good part of the operating money this year even if there's no deal on the transfer yet.

                    THis has got to be the worst thing the Government could have done especially after announcing a possible 4.3MILLION Dollar surplus. What do we pay these people for? They have had how long to look over this information, and don't tell me that Minister Evans was in the dark to this all along. Sad day for EMS in Alberta.
                    Dave Burn
                    (EMT-P Student)
                    Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      From the 'who knew' dept.

                      So the province has decided to put off the 'handover' for a year. So Iris Evans can't figure out where it went so wrong. How did the budget get so out of hand?

                      I have an idea on that. As I understand it, $55M was the original budget to take over EMS. Call me crazy, but would that number possibly be nothing more than the summation of all the ambulance budgets in the province? (Calgary's is $21M as of the news tonight, and we've just read that Edmonton is $12M - total of $33M already!)

                      Then add in some of the things we've heard that the 'handover' will require. Such as the rumor I heard that all stations and quarters will have to be 100% health region owned - in other words, none of the fire/EMS common stations that are so prevalent across the province right now are acceptable. How much do you suppose it will cost to build and maintain all these new buildings, much less find appropriate land - most of it in already-well-established communities? Example: Where in downtown Calgary would you relocate medics from Station 1 (across from the TELUS building) and Station 2 (10 St/10 Av SW)? How about medic 8 out of 17 Av/45 St SW? Do you think the AMA folks across the street would sell a chunk of their land to the RHA?

                      Or do you think you may see the way things have been done in the 80s in NYC? Every ambulance has a home base hospital, and then is sent to park on street corners for their shift.

                      I think at this stage, a number of things should be done:
                      • Immediately re-evaluate what the benefit of the 'hand-over' of EMS actually is.
                      • Ask the ambulance service operators in the affected areas what this will require.
                      • Develop a plan to accomplish this.
                      • Set up a time line. Get real, this is not going to be like flipping a switch and have April 1 come by with all the ambulances changing logos and ownership.


                      For some agencies such as Cochrane and Airdrie (and others, I'm sure; Canmore comes to mind, there must be others to the north), they may be the ones who set the norm for the rest of the province. If these services can't be broken up because of their integration with their towns' Fire service, perhaps the whole concept will have to be rethought out.

                      My personal feelings on this, as a non-EMS person and a first responder, is that if the province wants to take over funding and such, so be it. I would have issues with changing the level of service - I grew up in Ontario, and I can remember the time when all ambulances were strictly BLS, with about six paramedics in the whole province using flycars and PRUs to go to the scenes. I could see this happening here, and I don't agree with that idea. It's possible that they might say "Calgary is under-serviced and Cochrane and Airdrie are over-serviced, so we're going to take 2 of the 3 cars in the outlying towns and move them into Calgary". There are so many ways that this could go sideways.

                      I guess the fact of the matter is, the province doesn't seem to intend to do this for anything less than the bottom dollar. Don't expect ambulances put in every town over 10,000 population.

                      If I were involved in an EMS-providing service, I know what I'd spend the next year doing. Your health region, your MLA, and Iris Evans needs to know exactly what an ambulance service does in Alberta before they do one thing towards changing it!
                      --jay.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA - GOD JOB IRIS. Ounce again the government has F***d the pooch. Maybe we should have a minister that has a clue. You have a steering committee working with departments on the take over (for a year) and they didnt know sooner that the budget was going to be like this!! Take your head out of your azz and look around. Nothing like communication! Fire Evans and put some one in charge that has a clue - Then we can deal with Ralph in the next election.
                        Because of this momentus screw up the province is going to have to anty up the funds fo ambulance service for the rest of the year - so why dont they adopt this model - FUND not take over!
                        Frickinn marroooons!
                        -I have learned people will forget what you said,
                        -People will forget what you did,
                        -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Yes sir the Alberta Govt has screwed up big time in rewind again. And you know the ironic thing about it is they don't even know where they are incompetent. Iris Evens has her head so far up here posterier she has to be suffering from O2 depravation, and I think thats a medical condition I can't beleive the City of Edmonton did not budget for the year, first line of defence should be "don't trust to provicial govt". We in Leduc did not for one minute think this so called handover was going to go according to plan so we left the EMS budget component in. Whats next for Patsi Klien and the wandering minstrals!?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            If you think Edmonton's situation is bleak, ask the folks in Grande Prairie. I've heard that G.P. has sold all their ambulances off already in preparation for being taken over by the RHA!

                            Like LACAPT said, this is a prime reason to not do anything until the deal is done! It's like the public safety communications center Calgary is building to combine/merge dispatch centers all into one. In '03 we were told "In six months you'll be in the new building." In six months we were told Sept '04. In September we were told "Early 2005." Shortly after that we were told We Will Be Moving In In November 2005. Me? I'll believe it when we're sitting there in the seats.
                            --jay.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Psssst. hey... wanna buy a good used ambulance?

                              So, Is Grande Prarie panicked? Trying to back out of their sales agreements? sourcing new equipment?


                              And, wasn't this the brainchild of the right honorable Gary Marr? Before he was shuffled to a new post?
                              SRFD905 - Serving since 1998

                              *~-|EGH|FTM|-~*

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Well you cant lay blame on the services, what are you going to do wait till the last minute and hope they give you full market value for your units? There is quite a storm brewing here and there is going to be a fight for dollars between some juristictions and the government. And they go and hire ANOTHER consultant to work out this mess? How much are they paying him 180,000.00 just like the last one?

                                Anyone know where I can but a cheap ambulance?
                                Dave Burn
                                (EMT-P Student)
                                Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

                                Comment

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