Health Minister Visits Tri Region

Minister Hoffman operates the power stretcher with Stony Plain MLA Erin Babcock strapped in. (One News)

An equipment demonstration and a trip to WestView Health Centre highlighted Hoffman's agenda.

Health Minister and Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman was in the Tri Region yesterday to meet with front line health care workers and witness a demonstration of the new power stretchers being installed on the ambulance fleet of AHS province wide.

The announcement for the new power stretchers was made back in July of 2017, with the province announcing $20 million dollars of funding for the installation on over 350 ground ambulances.  The power stretchers are capable of lifting up to 700 pounds without any physical strain to an EMT.  The power stretchers will also be standard issue in all new AHS ambulances moving forward, with the cost of installation per unit sitting at $40,000.  

"The greatest risk for workplace injury is during that lift portion," Minister Hoffman told One News.  "So if we can get rid of that risk, keep our paramedics healthy and keep our patients in a safe, secure bed it's a win-win.  It was an important investment for our fleet and for our workers."

AHS Public Education Officer Alex Campbell echoed Hoffman's statements, noting "paramedics respond in unpredictable conditions, 24/7 365 (days a year) to go to whatever emergency happens to come up.  Moving patients is something that's been progressing and there's been a lot more focus on keeping our practitioners safe."

Before visiting the AHS EMS station in Stony Plain, Hoffman also visited the largest medical facility in the region- the WestView Health Centre.

"I had such a great opportunity to hear from front line workers about what they're most proud of in their facility and what their hopes are for the future," says Hoffman, who also notes the rapid population growth of the Tri Region is a factor for the WestView Health Centre.

"Of course, Stony Plain has grown significantly over the last several years and they would like to see increased capacity.  We also talked about the number of patients who are waiting in hospital right now who should be in some other type of facility, such as long term care."

-TS

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