🚑🧑‍⚕️Imagine you’re in medical distress and need an ambulance. You call 911 and, within 15 minutes, paramedics arrive. They put you on a stretcher, load you in, and take you to a hospital. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. [1/10]
If it takes more than 30 min for hospitals to assume care of a patient from paramedics, that's considered an offload delay. This has become increasingly common in Niagara and throughout Ontario, according to experts. Kevin Smith, @NiagaraEMS chief, calls it a crisis. [2/10] Seen from the back, an ambulance has its doors open, showing
Over the past four weeks, 77 per cent of Niagara EMS calls have gone into offload delay (the average time was 90 minutes). In the past seven months, about 349 people stayed on EMS stretchers for four to six hours, and 10 for more than eight. pub-niagararegion.escribemeetings.com/FileStream.ash… [3/10]
President of @OntParamedic, @WiltonDarryl, says it all comes down to one thing: a bed shortage in hospitals. People stay in hospitals longer than necessary because other options — such as long-term care — aren’t available, he explains. [4/10]
In an update to #HamOnt city council, @HPS_Paramedics chief @mcsander1 noted offload delays in Hamilton have shot up since hospitals resumed more operations and public health restrictions eased in the spring. Niagara had the same experience.
hamilton.ca/sites/default/… [5/10]
Patients requiring non-urgent care are more likely to have to wait, Sanderson says. Prolonged time on a stretcher can become uncomfortable for patients, he adds, and even simple food requests require hospital-staff approval. Delays also have ripple effects. [6/10] An ambulance stretcher is set up and shown in front of an am
Call-response times are longer when more first responders are stuck at hospitals. Between Aug. and Oct., #HamOnt paramedics logged 41 “code zeroes,” meaning there were one or no ambulances available to respond. During the same periods in 2020 & 2019, there were four & 13. [7/10]
Offload delays are also stressful for paramedics and can lead to burnout, Sanderson says. Smith links them to increased absence. He says they're costly too, with Niagara is on pace for 20,000 hours of delays this year for a total cost of $2.3 million. [8/10] Text reading: In his report to council, Smith links pandemic
Sanderson and Wilton agree funding for care outside hospitals, including LTC and community-paramedicine, is part of the solution. Wilton says setting up alternative destinations for paramedics to take patients to, such as emergency clinics, could also help. [9/10]
Sanderson says systemic changes are needed, but adds that existing operations can be improved with smaller adjustments. For more on those, including comments from the Ministry of Health, @STJOESHAMILTON and @niagarahealth, see the full story here: tvo.org/article/why-pa… [10/10]

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More from @mr_lois_lane

12 Nov
💻🧑‍💼While survey and polling data show most people working from home feel productive and healthy, some remote workers have ended up feeling burned out — and that has researcher @newerakate worried. The @BrockCPCF professor says now's the time to reassess remote work. [1/11]
In a policy brief for the Niagara Community Observatory (brocku.ca/niagara-commun…), Cassidy and her coauthor pose a series of questions for employers to ask to determine if they can support work from home. A centrepiece to the discussion is relationships, she says. [2/11]
“If you have strong relationships, you tend to know what matters to people. You know their personality, you know their working style, you're more tolerant to communication, and you feel safer to ask questions,” Cassidy says. In her research, she heard WFH can be isolating. [3/11]
Read 11 tweets
2 Nov
📈💲 Inflation is the highest it’s been in 18 years. But ODSP rates haven’t gone up in three. I spoke with advocates and a researcher about the problems this poses for people who rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program. [1/11] Protesters hold a sign calling for the ends of homelessness
“The rates are too low, and if you're not even giving people a meagre increase, that's just not going to work,” @hatalaandrea, who volunteers with the @ODSPAction says. Inflation rose 4.4 per cent year-over-year in September. [2/11]
A 2019 AG report states that more than half a million people received money from the program in the 2018/19 fiscal year. Barring special allowances, the maximum monthly payment for a single person is $672 for basic needs & $497 for shelter. auditor.on.ca/en/content/ann… [3/11]
Read 11 tweets
7 Oct
💉📲 On Oct. 22, Ontario is set to launch a new vaccine certificate and verification app. Receipts will be available in the form of QR codes. In the coming months, Ontario will also release another credential called Digital ID. I asked experts about usability and security. [1/12]
Some vaccination-credential apps have been criticized for how they handle users’ information (see the private PORTpass app: cbc.ca/news/canada/ca…) but generally, cybersecurity experts say systems like Quebec's (similar to what Ontario is doing) should be secure. [2/12]
Ontario has not publicized the source code for its app yet, but as @BrockUniversity professor of digital media @onthename explains, it's likely the QR codes will contain unique URLs that will interface with the app to check users' vaccination status in a govt. database. [3/12]
Read 13 tweets
16 Sep
🚍🗳️ During the #Elxn44 campaign, there’s been plenty of discussion about how Canada can recover from COVID-19. Experts and an advocate I spoke to want to make sure one topic in particular isn’t left out: transit. (And not just because public transit starred in #ShangChi) [1/9]
“Building back better — to use what's become a slogan — involves transit, and you've seen governments recognize that,” @DrewFagan4, professor at @munkschool, says. That goes beyond funding projects and requires intelligent land-use, he adds. [2/9]
Putting what people need along transit lines results in what researchers call “transit-oriented communities.” An @ontario360 paper Fagan cowrote states such communities co-locate housing, jobs, public amenities and social services near transit. [3/9] on360.ca/policy-papers/…
Read 11 tweets
9 Sep
With advance polling starting tomorrow and the leaders' debate tonight, here's my attempt at a handy-dandy #Elxn44 resource guide for those in need. It's non-exhaustive and #HamOnt focused, but should be broadly applicable.

Firstly, the election is on Sept. 20. [1/11]
There are several ways to vote, as outlined by @ElectionsCan_E: voting in-person on election day, in advance polls (Sept. 10-13 from 09:00-21:00), by mail (apply before Sept. 14 at 18:00) or at any elections Canada office (before Sept. 14 at 18:00).
tvo.org/article/your-f… [2/11]
Elections Canada’s Voter Information Service allows you to search for your electoral riding by postal code, and see which candidates are running there. It will also show you where you can vote in advance polls, or on election day.
elections.ca/Scripts/vis/Fi… [3/11]
Read 15 tweets
27 Aug
📈💸 With affordability on many Ontarians’ minds this election, basic income advocates in #HamOnt (and across Canada) are working to make the topic an election issue. I spoke with several advocates and two economists about that push. [1/9] #Elxn44
Research released in May found Hamilton is the third-most-expensive city in North America (cbc.ca/news/canada/ha…). During the pandemic, rent and housing prices shot up. @basicincomeHAM co-chair @lisaAalfano says current attempts at poverty reduction aren't working. [2/9]
BIH is part of a first-ever national campaign of advocates, called #BasicIncomeNow, asking federal candidates to support the measure. Alfano: “Our mandate at Basic Income Hamilton is to inform, educate, and engage our local community in the basic-income concept.” [3/9]
Read 9 tweets

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