Ontario’s ombudsman is looking into how the province investigates patient complaints and incident reports about ambulance services.
Paul Dube said Tuesday he is launching the probe after hearing from families of patients who expressed concerns about how the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s emergency health services land/air branch conducts reviews of serious incidents.
The reviews are required whenever someone transported in an ambulance is harmed, dies or suffers as a result of delays or similar issues.
Dube said the cases he has heard indicate a “potential systemic problem.”
He said this is not about reinvestigating what happened to specific patients but ensuring transparent and robust oversight, and asks that anyone with relevant information contact his office.
A spokeswoman for the ministry of health said the government is committed to improving and modernizing its emergency health services, and looks forward to seeing the ombudsman’s findings.
“We take any and all concerns regarding ambulance services very seriously,” Laura Gallant said in a statement.
“Over the past year, both the ministry and our local ambulance partners have responded to every complaint we have received by conducting investigations into each and every matter to determine if there has been a contravention of the Ambulance Act, its regulations, or other standards.”