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Not just ERs: Alberta expands locations for ambulances to take non-urgent cases


Medicine Hat, Alta.–The Alberta government is expanding drop-off locations for ambulance operators to reduce non-urgent transfers to emergency departments.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says too many times ambulances are lined up at ERs with non-critical patients waiting to receive care.

He says expanding options to include hospices and community health centres will get ambulances back on the road faster.

That means overall wait times for emergency medical services should go down.

Six alternative care facilities, four of them in small towns, are already receiving patients.

Four more sites are to be given the green light by year's end.

Facilities already receiving patients are St. Joseph's Home Carmel Hospice in Medicine Hat, St. Michael's Health Centre in Lethbridge, and four health centres in each of Bashaw, Sylvan Lake, La Crete and Rainbow Lake.

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