May 27, 2016 – SEIU paramedics strongly support the efforts of the municipal government of Chatham-Kent, who recognize that the medical demands for our community require timely access to top quality services, performed by highly educated and trained health care providers.
A recent review of Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services, presented to the local mayor and members of Council, highlights a trend that is not only seen in this community but across the country - as the average population age rises, so do the calls for EMS. In Chatham-Kent, the population of seniors (those 80 years and older), many of whom suffer from chronic and complex healthcare needs, currently make up just 5% of our community but are accounting for over 27% of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls.
“Paramedics and first responders are an integral part of our communities,” said Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare. “We all have a responsibility to ensure our local health and emergency services meet the highest quality standards by the most appropriate health care providers while also working to protect the long-term sustainability of these programs.”
The community deserves a medical services system that reflects the current and future needs of its citizens. Local EMS planners know the majority of 9-1-1 medical calls are not in fact emergencies but could be addressed by expanding proactive and preventative medical services such as the community paramedicine program. Recently introduced in Chatham-Kent, this program has proven to show positive medical results and, as local municipalities grapple with continued budget restraints, can in fact save money by reducing the amount of 9-1-1 calls.
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