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This article was published 27/1/2015 (1753 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
City of Winnipeg ambulances continue to be tied up at city hospitals waiting for patients to be admitted.
The delays cost the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority $1.44 million in penalties paid to the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service to the end of November.
An administrative report to Friday’s protection and community services committee states that Winnipeg ambulances spent an extra 1,000 hours waiting at city hospitals for the month of November; and more than 12,000 hours for the first 11 months of 2014.
The city charges the WRHA a penalty of $119 per hour when ambulances are tied up at city hospitals for longer than 60 minutes.
In 2013, the city dinged the WRHA almost $1.5 million in penalties for what’s known as off-load delays. For the first six months of 2014, the penalty totaled over $838,000.
Staff from WFPS have been meeting with health authority officials to come up with strategies to reduce the off-load wait times.
The WFPS is considering increasing the penalties. Other strategies include transporting patients with minor ailments to less busy emergency rooms.
The report says the ambulance delays are mostly confined to three hospitals: Health Sciences Centre, Seven Oaks, and St. Boniface.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.