RICHMOND HILL - York Region MPPs Dr. Helena Jaczek, Chris Ballard, Michael Chan, Steven Del Duca, and Reza Moridi are pleased to announce that Ontario is continuing to improve access to care for seniors and patients with chronic conditions in York Region through the Expanding Paramedicine in the Community (EPIC) Program.
The York Region EPIC program will receive $220,600 to continue their home visit pilot project. EPIC links York Region Paramedic Services with several Family Health Teams (FHT) to perform scheduled and unscheduled home visits for FHT patients identified by the physicians to be at risk.
The province is investing a total of $4 million to continue 23 Community Paramedicine pilot programs across the province for an additional year. These initiatives support partnerships between participating paramedics and teams of health care professionals to provide more care to patients in the community, including:
• Making home visits to seniors and high-needs patients to help them with a range of services such as ensuring they are taking medication as prescribed.
• Increasing assessment and referrals to local services in the community such as the Community Care Access Centres for follow up care.
• Educating patients on managing their chronic disease.
These Community Paramedicine programs can help seniors and other patients live independently at home longer and reduce emergency room visits and hospital admissions.
Investing in care at home and in the community is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
“These Community Paramedicine programs improve access for people with chronic health conditions helping them live independently at home, where we know they want to be. This initiative is about ensuring those with higher needs are able to receive care in the home and in the community from a team of highly skilled health professionals, which can reduce hospital admissions and emergency room visits.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“The Community Paramedicine Program plays an important role in promoting healthy aging and the management of chronic health conditions in a home-based setting. Receiving the right care at the right time within the community, rather than in the hospital, will be of great convenience to all residents, especially our seniors.”
— Reza Moridi, M.P.P., Richmond Hill
“The York Region Expanding Paramedicine in the Community (EPIC) program is a smart way to leverage the skills and training of paramedics to help serve not just those in acute crisis, but those who have chronic conditions in our community. As a physician, I know that this kind of care can help to reduce emergency room visits and hospital admissions.”
— Dr. Helena Jaczek, M.P.P., Oak Ridges – Markham
“I am delighted to see the support and investment in the Community Paramedicine Program. This program will help the most vulnerable find the help and assistance they need by home visits and increased assessments. Newmarket-Aurora has one of the fastest growing senior populations in Ontario and will benefit from this immensely.”
— Chris Ballard M.P.P., Newmarket-Aurora
“I am pleased that our government is continuing to support paramedics in applying their training and skills beyond emergency response. York Region’s EPIC program will allow paramedics to treat high-needs patients in their homes, and improve the access to healthcare in our community.”
— Steven Del Duca, M.P.P., Vaughan
“Investing in paramedicine is an important initiative that brings highly-skilled care providers into patients’ homes as part of a community-based health care team approach. The EPIC program is a valuable medical resource that augments care for individuals as they cope with chronic health conditions that might otherwise escalate to emergency care and hospitalization.”
— Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville
“I want to commend the Government of Ontario for expanding the Paramedicine in the Community Program. Here in York Region our program is meeting with success and reducing the need for some patients to be admitted to hospital. At the same time, it is allowing our paramedics to enhance their skills and take on additional health care responsibilities for the benefit of our growing and aging population.”
— Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO
“We are pleased to support the government’s investment in paramedicine and in providing care to patients where they need it most. This is a great investment in our system and will strengthen the relationship between EMS and primary care physicians –all to benefit our patients.”
— Dr Alan Monavvari, Chief of Family Medicine, Markham Stouffville Hospital.
• Community Paramedicine allows paramedics to apply their training and skills beyond emergency response and transportation to an emergency department.
• Since 2014, the province invested $7.8 million to support paramedics working with local health care providers across the province.
• The projects are being assessed for their impact on client outcomes and cost.
• The province’s $4 million investment in the program covers the 12 months from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.
• The province is prioritizing innovative home and community care and the Patients First: Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, which increases access to critical services.
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