A new media release from the Ford Government states that they have decided to launch a program giving paramedics more say over treatment of 9-1-1 patients, keeping emergency departments “free” from these groups who are often marginalized in society. It will be up to the paramedics to refer them to the appropriate community services.
“Currently, these patient care models enable paramedics to treat and refer mental health and addictions and palliative care patients to appropriate services in the community,” the Ontario Government said in a recent media release. “The government is working with key partners to expand these models to different patient groups, such as people with diabetes and epilepsy, and implement a new treat and release model with recommendations to patients for appropriate follow-up care.”
This leaves one to wonder what will happen when these groups are left on their own. People with addiction and mental health issues have trouble reaching out for help. How long will it take for community services to get involved and guide them to safety?