Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

NDP: ‘Ambulance not available’ the new normal in Ford’s Ontario

Published on November 2, 2023

QUEEN'S PARK – During Question Period, Official Opposition Health critic France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) questioned Minister of Health Sylvia Jones about what long waits for emergency medical services will mean for patient care:  

"On Monday, the Toronto Paramedics Union issued a code red to indicate that no ambulances were available to respond to emergency calls. That was the second code red issued in October.  

During that period, a 98-year-old woman waited, unconscious, for longer than 28 minutes before an ambulance was finally dispatched from Peel Region. Can the Minister tell us if an unconscious elderly woman waiting 28 minutes for an ambulance is quality care?" 

In July, CBC reported that the Ontario government collects data on the number of hours paramedics spend waiting in the ER to transfer patients but refuses to disclose it. 

Gélinas also pointed to alarming stories out of Kitchener, as well: 

"Yesterday, Kitchener--Waterloo faced a paramedic "code red" when ten ambulances were backed up waiting at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener to off-load their patients. It is unacceptable that some patients had to wait eight hours for an ambulance from the surrounding region to come and help. 

Minister, is this the level of care the good people of Kitchener can expect from Doug Ford's Ontario?"