OSOT provides input to Ministry of Health Consultation on Regulatory Amendments to the Ambulance Act relating to EMS Services

Ontario's Emergency Health Services system is governed by the Ambulance Act, its regulations and standards to provide access to rapid pre-hospital emergency care and safe and effective transportation for "patients" to the emergency department.

The Ministry of Health is planning to enable new patient care models for select 9-1-1 patients to provide timely access to definitive care where options other than transport to the emergency department may be done safely and appropriately. A proposal to amend regulations under the Ambulance Act and Health Insurance Act to provide select 9-1-1 patients with alternative care options for pre-hospital care other than transport to the emergency department was posted for consultation.  View consultation.

New models of care are considered as an option to help address the challenges of over-crowded emergency departments and to end hallway health care. and proposed options include;

  • Transporting patients to destinations other than the emergency department where they can receive appropriate treatment;
  • Treating patients on-scene and referring them to another health care provider;
  • Treating and releasing patients on-scene; and
  • Referral of select low acuity patients during the 911 call to appropriate care in the community.


Implications for Occupational Therapists

OSOT has been interested to monitor and respond to this consultation because monitoring of practice in jurisdictions around the world has highlighted developing models of partnership of occupational therapists integrated into EMS services to support paramedic services.   In fact, EMS services in Niagara Region have been the first municipal service to pilot a designated care team of an occupational therapist and paramedic to respond to non-emergency 9-1-1 calls relating to falls.  The Society views proposed changes in regulation to enable more fulsome exploration of new models of care for calls that are not urgent emergencies or calls for crisis intervention and proposes ways in which occupational therapists can contribute to the effectiveness of proposed new service delivery models.

View OSOT's submission to the Consultation on Regulatory Amendments to the Ambulance Act, October 7, 2019.