Deputy Clerk Of The House
Mr. Glen Rutland
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a return to Written Question 25-19(2) asked by the Member for Nunakput on March 10, 2021, regarding medevacs in Nunakput.
Later today, at the appropriate time, I will table a breakdown of air ambulance transports, by community and calendar year, for the last four years. Please note that some numbers may be different than previously indicated as they have been updated to ensure appropriate patient outcome and transport outcomes were included. These totals do not include scheduled, non-emergency transports.
The Northwest Territories health and social service system does not report on specific event-related delays. An inter-facility patient movement transfer matrix guides the triage and prioritization of patient movement between facilities within the NWT. This matrix takes into consideration:
- Facility capacity issue: a transfer that is given preference depending on medical resources available at sending site;
- Deterioration risk: a transfer that is given preference as deferral or delay of treatment/intervention could have significant impact on patient's health; and,
- Weather considerations: a transfer that may require earlier intervention depending on upcoming weather systems.
In the Beaufort-Delta, the response time between confirmation that a medevac will be activated and medics arriving at the patient's side for transport varies depending on the final destination. It takes a median of four hours and 31 minutes to transport a patient to Edmonton; three hours and 39 minutes transport a patient to Yellowknife; and two hours and 55 minutes to transport a patient to Inuvik Hospital, including the time it takes for the plane to arrive in the community. If there is a concern about medevac response times or the transport quality, the NWT Health and Social Services system has quality risk managers in each region who report issues and review quality assurance processes.
The air ambulance service provider has been contracted to provide coverage for the entire NWT. The provider has bases in Yellowknife and Inuvik. The contractor provides medics and planes to support patient transports. In addition to these daily operational resources, there is a contingency plan for additional resources to ensure critical transports are fulfilled when needed. To protect the privacy of our air ambulance providers, we are unable to release the information related to tail registration numbers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.