April 1st, 2021

Ambulance offload times in Cape Breton too high

NEW WATERFORD - New information obtained by the NDP Caucus through a Freedom of Information Request shows that ambulance offload times in Cape Breton are well above the 20 minute target laid out in the Fitch Report. The average offload time at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital is 31 minutes.

“All Cape Bretoners should be very concerned about these ambulance offload times. It is not acceptable that offload times at the Regional are more than 50 per cent longer than the target that’s been recommended,” said Kendra Coombes, MLA for Cape Breton Centre.

The paramedics’ union has been highlighting Code Critical, which occurs when there is no ambulance available in a given region. The union has called Code Critical 15 times in Cape Breton and Victoria counties in the month of March.

“It is alarming that paramedics have declared Code Critical so often in our communities. That means an ambulance may not have been readily available when people needed it,” said Coombes. “The Liberal government’s approach has been to sprinkle some money here and there. What Cape Breton really needs is a systemic approach to solving the health care crisis so people get the care they deserve.”