Provincial Health Minister Terry Lake has announced that Bowen Island is to be one of 73 communities across BC that will welcome community paramedicine, a program that offers residents enhanced health services from paramedics.
Community paramedicine will provide Bowen Islanders with better access to primary health care and a more stabilized paramedic presence for emergency response. Under this program, paramedics will provide basic health-care services in partnership with local health-care providers. The services provided may include checking blood pressure, assisting with diabetic care, helping to identify fall hazards, medication assessment, post-injury or illness evaluation, and assisting with respiratory conditions.
The enhanced role is not intended to replace care provided by health professionals, but rather to complement and support the work these important professionals do each day, delivered in non-urgent settings, in patients’ homes or in the community. Community paramedics will also be able to provide important training such as CPR.
“I’m very pleased that we were chosen to be one of the first communities included in this program,” said Mayor Murray Skeels, “I see this service as being especially beneficial to Islanders who have mobility issues and are receiving extended medical care.”
It is expected that community paramedics in Vancouver Coastal Health region will be ready to begin providing services in patients’ homes by spring of 2017. These patients will be referred by their family physician or other local health care provider.
More information about the Community Paramedicine Initiative can be found on the BC Emergency Health Services website at www.bcehs.ca.