Grey County paramedics want to continue paramedicine program
Published Thursday, March 17, 2016 6:46PM EDT
Paramedics in Grey County want to continue a pilot project that offers house calls and helps clear-up crowded hospital emergency rooms in the region.
The community paramedic program is part of a one year study being conducted by St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto to find out if community based paramedicine saves money by reducing the number visits patients make to hospital emergency rooms for their chronic conditions.
Paramedics and patients say the program has been so successful that they are trying to convince the Ontario government to keep it going.
The province has been paying for the program since it started in Grey County last year, but the funding will run out at the end of the month.
Currently there are two community paramedics working in Grey County. They make regular visits to approximately 100 patients who suffer from chronic conditions.
"Typically they have congestive heart failure, chronic pulmonary disease or diabetes," said Rick Trombley, a Grey County paramedic.
The study results won't be known until later this year, but Simcoe County paramedics are now training with Grey County for a similar trial program in Ramara Township.
"With the low call volume there we are taking the opportunity to trial this home visit program in between 911 calls," said paramedic Kristen Gilmartin.