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Unique Pilot Project Helping Seniors in Northeastern Ontario Live Independently at Home

News Release

Unique Pilot Project Helping Seniors in Northeastern Ontario Live Independently at Home

Community Paramedicine Program Delivering Non-Emergency Care

Office of the Premier

Ontario is renewing its support for the province's successful community paramedicine program in the Cochrane, Manitoulin-Sudbury and Algoma districts. The program helps seniors and people living with chronic health conditions receive non-emergency care from a paramedic, often in their own home.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Elliot Lake this morning to make the announcement and speak with local paramedics and stakeholders about this community-based health care program.

To date, the program has helped 8,252 people in four rural communities in the Cochrane, Manitoulin-Sudbury and Algoma districts receive care from paramedics who go beyond their usual emergency response role. The health care services include:

  • Check-in calls to frequent users of 911 to see how the person is doing and determine if there is a proactive way the paramedic can help, such as referring the person to appropriate health care services
  • Home visits for seniors or others who may be at risk of losing their independence at home, to offer companionship, care and referrals
  • Routine health services, such as blood pressure checks and blood glucose checks, for people who may not have otherwise easily accessed these services
  • Education by paramedics to help people learn about healthy living and chronic disease prevention.

The community paramedicine program helps people access care closer to home. Data also shows that the program has helped to reduce 911 calls and ambulance transports.

Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s pilot paramedicine programs have helped 21,317 patients across the province, resulting in over 44,014 completed patient assessments and over 5,000 referrals to appropriate health care services.
  • This year, Ontario is investing $771,200 in five community paramedicine projects in the North East LHIN, which is part of a $6 million provincewide investment. These include:
    • Cochrane, Manitoulin-Sudbury and Algoma
    • Nipissing
    • Sudbury Health Promotion
    • Sudbury – Care Transitions Project
    • Parry Sound.
  • The province has invested $17.8 million to support the development and expansion of community paramedicine programs across Ontario since 2014.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Kathleen Wynne

“Our health care plan is focused on making sure people have access to the care they need, when they need it. The community paramedicine program is a unique way to help seniors and people living with chronic health conditions in Northeastern Ontario get care in their communities, often at home, so they can continue to live independent lives. As we shift care to the community, we’re working with skilled professionals like paramedics to make sure everyone in Ontario gets the best possible health care, no matter where they live.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

Dr. Eric Hoskins

“Paramedics are highly skilled health professionals who can now go beyond their traditional role of emergency response and provide proactive care to those who need it most. Patients in rural communities in the Cochrane, Manitoulin-Sudbury and Algoma districts have better access to community-based health care and supports, allowing them to continue to live in their homes and communities, where they want to be.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Community Paramedics have consistently demonstrated they can improve quality of life with in-home assessment and treatment. With the ongoing investment by the Government of Ontario, we can now ensure that more Northern Ontarians can choose to stay at home safely and confidently with the expert support of a Community Paramedic.”

Ashleigh Hewer

President, Ontario Paramedic Association

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Government Health and Wellness Home and Community Rural and North