Dufferin County Ambulance Services expanding para-medicine program

March 29, 2021

Dufferin-Caledon: MPP Sylvia Jones is pleased that Dufferin County is part of Ontario’s investment of up to $56 million annually to expand the long-term care community paramedicine program, helping more seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe in the comfort of their own homes.

Dufferin County Paramedic Services is receiving:

Total budget 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Dufferin County $ 2,953,600 $ 227,200 $ 908,800 $ 908,800 $ 908,800

“This is positive news for many seniors and families throughout Dufferin County,” said Jones. “The paramedicine home visiting program was a pilot project in Dufferin, and because of that success we now have an expanded program, and more communities across Ontario to support vulnerable seniors living at home.”

The community para-medicine for long-term-care program supports individuals who are waiting, or soon to be eligible for long-term-care, stay safe and receive the care they need at home. Eligible individuals will receive 24/7, non-emergency support, through home visits and remote monitoring that is responsive to changes or an escalation in their health condition.

These services are a complement to the home and community care services that may already be receiving. The program provides individuals, families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care bed or potentially delay the need for long-term care.

“Dufferin County Paramedics were one of the first services in the province to implement the Community Paramedicine program, in 2015,” said Dufferin County Warden Darren White. “Through the dedication of our highly trained staff, support from Headwaters Hospital, community physicians and community partners this program has been a success from its inception. County Council is pleased to receive this additional funding and to see community paramedicine expand to support more seniors in their homes.”

“The Dufferin County Community Paramedic Program is an innovative model that provides support to the most vulnerable residents in our community.  Community Paramedics increase a physician’s capacity to provide care for the most complex patients by regularly monitoring and providing feedback to the Primary Care Physician. With enhanced funding through the Community Paramedic Long-Term Care Program (CPLTC), our frontline Community Paramedics will be able to provide high quality care and service in the location patients wish to receive it, potentially delaying the need for long-term care,” said Dr. Karen Sandhu, Community Physician and Community Paramedic Champion.

“Thanks to this funding we can continue to support patients safely in their homes and help reduce the number of unnecessary visits to our local emergency department.  We have helped many patients get an early diagnosis of things like pneumonia or urinary tract infections and have been able to get the medications they required all from the comfort of their living rooms. We have capabilities of doing everything from in house blood work, assessments and vitals right to connecting them with their family physician and with our community partners giving them and their families all a sense of relief that they are provided with a great support system,”

Cara Burleigh, Dufferin Community Paramedic.

The community para-medicine for long-term care program is 100% provincially funded. However, some communities may contribute through in kind supports, building off existing programs and support services.

The Ontario government is investing up to $20 million in 2020-21 and up to $54 million annually from 2021-22 to 2023-24 to expand the long-term care community paramedicine program in 33 different municipalities. The funding will be provided through a new transfer payment agreement with each selected municipality.