Errors In Provincial Paramedic Report: City Official

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This is the response of Anthony Di Monte, Assistant General Manager , Emergency & Protective Services to a shocking story in the Citizen concerning paramedic service efficiency:

Good evening Mayor and Council,

I am writing to provide additional information in reference to some news articles that were released earlier this evening, where the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has asserted in an investigation
report some alleged deficiencies in the Ottawa Paramedic Service (OPS). Firstly, I would like to clarify that the OPS is in the process of fact-checking the MOHLTC report and strongly disagrees with several of the conclusions and findings of the report.

This past August, the Emergency Health Services Branch of the MOHLTC received a complaint by a neighbouring municipality regarding the practice of dispatching the nearest ambulance – which
is a fundamental component of the provincially designed seamless system. This also leads to ambulances being dispatched across municipal borders; whether from a neighbouring municipality into the City of Ottawa or from the City of Ottawa into a neighbouring municipality. Also, worthy of note, the province funds 50% of land ambulance services in Ontario and therefore Ottawa taxpayers through their provincial taxes contribute to land ambulance services in our neighbouring municipalities.

After two and a half months, the OPS received last Tuesday (November 29) the MOHLTC’s investigation report.
As part of the MOHLTC process, the City of Ottawa is given 10 days to review the report and 40 days to develop an action plan, if required. This type of review process provides the opportunity to conduct fact checks and allow for MOHLTC staff to make any necessary amendments that may be required to ensure that the information is accurate.

Subsequent to the receipt of the report, Acting Paramedic Chief Peter Kelly met with representatives from the MOHLTC to clarify and challenge the validity of the findings.

As part of the review process, City staff will be meeting with staff from the MOHLTC to seek to corroborate the findings and make necessary changes. After the ten-day review period is completed, the City of Ottawa will develop an action plan, if required.

Further, it is my understanding that the report was inadvertently shared by the MOHLTC with our neighbouring municipalities. The MOHLTC quickly retracted and requested that the report not be distributed any further. Unfortunately, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell chose to post the report on its website today.

The Ottawa Paramedic Service takes great pride in providing efficient and effective service delivery to residents of Ottawa. The value of the service was recently highlighted in the Paramedic Service Review, approved by Council this past September, which described in detail many of the industry best practices utilized by Ottawa paramedics.

I am confident that staff will be able to demonstrate to the MOHLTC several key inaccuracies and discrepancies contained within the findings of the report.

Respectfully,

Anthony Di Monte
A/General Manager
Emergency & Protective Services

 


 

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5 thoughts on “Errors In Provincial Paramedic Report: City Official

  1. Anthony Di Monte’s response to the issue of the use of outside of the city of Ottawa paramedics serving Ottawa calls is to say that the City of Ottawa can take advantage of that because funding is 50 per cent provincial and Ottawa taxpayers pay provincial tax. Well, so do the taxpayers of these small municipalities pay provincial tax — most of it going to large cities from which they get little benefit. So, this dispute regards the overuse of outside-boundary paramedics servicing Ottawa. That complaint is clear:

    “Prescott-Russell paramedics asked the ministry to look at the single overnight shift from August 6 to 7. They say their calls from the City of Ottawa have more than doubled in the last two years and they have not been able to get an explanation or solution from the city… Five municipalities neighbouring Ottawa have already called for the province to step in and deal with the paramedic resource issue. The municipalities include the County of Renfrew, the County of Lanark, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. The municipalities say Ottawa refuses to reimburse them for the service from their paramedics. The province made it optional for municipalities to recover costs for emergency services delivered outside their jurisdiction in 2008, where before it had been mandatory.”

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    1. Or simply put why are small municipalities supporting the big city of Ottawa?

      Same reason as amalgamation. Ottawa can not manage its own budget, is continually in debt and so leeches off those who can. Goulbourn, Cumberland, Nepean and Kanata suffered the same way before and after amalgamation as are Lanark and so forth.

      Di Monte’s diatribe sounds and reads just like any other Ottawa politician bafflegab.

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  2. The report was ‘leaked’. The OPS would, by protocol, have the opportunity to review and respond, this did not happen. The MOHLTC removed the report from their site and requested it not be distributed further. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell did not respect that request and they should answer for that. It would appear that they feel they are above having to respect a request from the MOHLTC.

    It would appear that the OPS has some points to address, one might consider the apparent ’30 minute’ rest period after a call that does not appear to be a common practice however, as that is for the OPS to address.

    Give the OPS an opportunity to respond to the report and don’t let it become yet one more issue before that is done. Anyone who follows, has followed, cares about the OPS, knows they are not adequately staffed. Too much money to LRT and bike lanes and not enough money to the services that are truly needed.

    Anne Marie

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  3. Let’s remember that this isn’t simply a jurisdictional dispute.
    There are reports that during the night in August that was reviewed, an ambulance from outside Ottawa took 16 minutes to respond to an Ottawa call when an Ottawa ambulance was 5 minutes away. The patient died. We can’t know, obviously, if that person would have been saved if the paramedics had been there 11 minutes earlier.
    The issue should be patient care not what label is on the outside of the ambulance.
    It would be useful to know how often ambulances go in either direction, i.e. Ottawa answering outside calls and outside ambulances answering Ottawa calls. Is there a balance or are the numbers skewed in Ottawa’s favour?
    We should also recognize that Ottawa has added 12 paramedics this June and is adding 24 more in June 2017. The 2017 additions are partly in response to outside ambulances being called into rural areas of west Ottawa.

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