Alberta Health Services extends Badlands EMS contract | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 3pm

Alberta Health Services extends Badlands EMS contract

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    Alberta Health Services is extending Badlands EMS’ contract one year, and has agreed to enter renegotiations for a five year contract in April 2012.

    “It’s an exciting time,” says Badlands EMS Director of Operations Bruce Coad, adding three quarters of the province’s ambulances are being run by Alberta Health Services (AHS), since taking over the last couple years.
    Eventually all ambulance services will likely be controlled by AHS, but Coad says the transition will take time, and from the looks of it, it’ll be more than five years before Badlands EMS becomes AHS.
    AHS would have more control over their day-to-day operations.
    “It’s not a bad thing – other services who have been taken over are quite happy with the changes. It’s not like a win or lose situation. Either way it goes, it’s good.”
    Currently, Badlands EMS is run by a board.   
    “I think AHS, they’ve got their hands full with the services they’re doing. It was originally thought they could take over services more quickly, but they’ve found it’s a challenge to do it,” says Coad. “I believe they’ve found it overwhelming, and are not eager at this time to take over the balance of them.”
    A couple years ago, many in the industry were nervous about the take over. Coad says, for him, those feelings have changed.
    “As we’ve watched them take over services, those services are quite happy with the change. AHS handles all the administrative side, the employees are happy, jobs are kept,” said Coad. “I think it’s a good deal any way we go – we’ve had a great deal of success. We’ve improved greatly over the past eight years.”
    Over the last three years, Badlands EMS has gone through a number of changes. They recently added advanced life support services, and have increased speed and efficiency of service to a target of less than two minutes response time.
    The increasing workload and improvement of services will likely mean Badlands EMS will seek more funding when negotiations begin this summer for their five year contract effective next April.
    “We’re seeing an increased workload, therefore we’re looking to find ways to make operations work better. Badlands EMS has been improving their level of care,” says Coad.

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