Ontario paramedics warn of ambulance delays and increasing call volumes

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paramedics

TORONTO — The union representing paramedics with 22 municipal services across Ontario says increasing call volumes and off-loading delays at hospitals are creating ambulance shortages across Ontario.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees — which represents 5,500 paramedics and dispatchers — says both problems are creating situations where ambulances aren’t available to readily respond to calls.

CUPE says it has obtained data that shows call volumes increased by over six per cent in 2016-2017 and jumped again by over four per cent in 2017-2018.

The union says the increasing workloads and lack of resources are leading to paramedic exhaustion and injury.

It says the provincial government must increase funding to municipalities so they can bolster front-line services.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government is aware of the problem and has committed $16 million to help address the situation at hospitals.

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