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Calgary could see massive increase in code reds with AHS centralization

Documents accessed by Wildrose under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIP) show a dramatic contrast in the number of code reds in AHS-managed Edmonton and locally-run Calgary ambulance services, and demonstrate that the NDP government should stop their attempts to impose EMS centralization on the City of Calgary, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The FOIP documents reveal that in the first 11 months of 2015, Edmonton experienced 888 code red events, where there are no ambulances to dispatch. In contrast over the entirety of 2015, Calgary experienced just 39.

“Ever since AHS began its centralization experiments with EMS services, Albertans have watched services decline across the province. The City of Calgary doesn’t want centralization and the numbers show that centralization results in a 3000% increase in code reds,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “The Health Minister’s continued waffling on this issue is only causing undue stress in the Calgary health community, and is sticking taxpayers with a $60,000 a month bill to pay the rent on an empty AHS facility.”

AHS has already spent over $10 million unnecessarily preparing to take over ambulance dispatch in Calgary.

“Despite what the NDP government may think, AHS EMS centralization is a failed experiment that has hurt services across the province,” Barnes said. “The City of Calgary has been clear that a consolidated police, fire and ambulance system is what they want, and Wildrose respects that decision.”