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NL Health Services to Operate Provincial Ambulance Service

News ReleasesProvincial
Posted: May 31, 2024

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services is moving forward with the next phase of the provincial integration of ambulance services and, effective June 1, 2024, will assume operation and management of all ambulance services across Newfoundland and Labrador.

“NL Health Services is pleased with the progress that has been made to date to transition the operations of ambulance services across the province to the health authority, and today marks a significant milestone in that journey,” said Cassie Chisholm, vice-president of transformation – health systems with NL Health Services. “Through this integration, we have the opportunity to provide our patients, clients and residents with added benefits through the standardization of service delivery and expansion of ambulance services beyond emergency response.”

NL Health Services will integrate additional aspects of paramedic services to provide further programs and services to individuals in communities across the province. For example, the integration includes the expansion of community paramedicine and paramedics in palliative care programs. The ability to expand these ambulance services is made possible due to the launch of the Provincial Medical Communications Centre and the new provincial trunked radio system, or P-25 system, that will ensure safe and effective communications in real time between paramedics and the Provincial Medical Communications Centre.

It is important to note that the people of the province should not see any significant change in the way they receive emergency ambulance services. In a medical emergency, residents should call 911 for an ambulance which will be dispatched from the nearest location. Ambulances and stations will continue to operate from locations across the province.

“This is a significant step in integration of the ambulance program to create a more modern and responsive service for all regions of our province,” said the Honourable Tom Osborne,

Minister of Health and Community Services. “I recognize the valuable work of paramedics and all those who support the delivery of emergency medical services. Creating a public sector workforce for the ambulance program will yield numerous benefits for staff hired by NL Health Services so that they are supported to deliver quality care to patients.”

Calling 911 in a medical emergency will connect callers to the Provincial Medical Communications Centre where a highly trained Medical Communications Officer will assist and provide guidance on what to do until the ambulance arrives.

“On behalf of NL Health Services, I would like to sincerely thank our paramedic and medical communications staff and management for their continued dedication and professionalism as we continue this transition,” said Michelle Breen, senior provincial director, paramedicine and emergency services with NL Health Services. “We also welcome new paramedic staff from across the province and look forward to working together to provide the best possible care to our patients when and where they need it most.”

Important Reminders

  • Accessing Emergency Ambulance Services: Effective June 1, 2024, individuals who call the existing local seven-digit number to access ambulance services will be directed to call 911 for emergency ambulance services. Local ambulance/hospital phone numbers will no longer provide access to ambulance services in a medical emergency. In remote communities of Labrador, residents can call 911 or their local community clinic directly.
  • Other transport requests: As of June 1, 2024, for all other ambulance related inquiries, please call the Medical Communications Centre non-emergency line at 709-777-6320.

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About NL Health Services

Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services (NL Health Services) brings together five former separate health entities – Eastern Health, Central Health, Western Health, Labrador-Grenfell Health, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. The creation of a provincial health authority was announced following recommendations from Health Accord NL.

NL Health Services is responsible for delivering health and community services to more than 528,000 people living in Newfoundland and Labrador and employs over 22,000 people. NLHealthServices.ca

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