A new EHS (Emergency Health Services) LifeFlight airplane will soon transport non-critical care patients from Yarmouth and Sydney to Halifax for tests and treatment.
The new service will free up ambulances and paramedics for local emergency calls – reducing wait times – and save patients hours of travel by road.
“The demand on emergency health services is growing and the best place for ambulances and paramedics to be is in their communities, helping people when an emergency strikes,” said Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “This new plane will also drastically reduce the time it takes for patients to access the healthcare they need and return home sooner.”
Travelling by plane from Yarmouth or Sydney to Halifax will take about an hour, compared with about five hours by ambulance. It will also be more comfortable for patients.
The plane will carry two to four patients per trip and begin service next week with three round trips daily. That means up to 12 ambulances a day will be staying in communities.
The Province’s contract with PAL Aerospace for one airplane for critical care transports has been amended to include this second plane, a specially outfitted PAL Beech 1900 turboprop.
“On behalf of EHS Operations, we are incredibly excited to get this program off the ground. EHS transfers of patients between facilities is an integral part of the provincial healthcare system. The non-critical care transport program is an important milestone in the evolution of the system to provide Nova Scotians with the right resource for the right patient at the right time for the right reasons. None of this would be possible without the support of our team members, from frontline staff to leadership, as well as from our partners like PAL Aerospace.”
– Paula Martell, Executive Director, LifeFlight Operations, EHS Operations
“As a paramedic of 13 years, part of that time in a support capacity at EHS LifeFlight, I am excited to go from working behind the scenes to a clinical environment in the new aircraft. This new program will not only enhance the overall patient experience and benefit the system, but it will also improve conditions for paramedics. Long-haul transport medicine takes a toll on paramedics, and this program will free up resources allowing them to respond to medical emergencies closer to home.”
– Daniel Gee, primary care paramedic, EHS Operations
“PAL Aerospace is thrilled to expand our long-standing partnership with Emergency Health Services and the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness with the delivery of this new non-critical care air ambulance service. The new aircraft with its longer range, increased cabin capacity and seamless interoperability with the Province’s existing road and air ambulance fleet is a significant step forward in providing timely access to treatment and enhanced patient care.”
– Jake Trainor, CEO, PAL Group of Companies
— the projected cost of this new service is $5.9 million per year
— the number of daily round trips is expected to increase from three over time
— EHS LifeFlight’s critical care aircraft (one plane and two helicopters) complete about 1,200 air medical missions each year
EHS LifeFlight: https://ehslifeflight.ca/
Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare: https://novascotia.ca/actionforhealth/