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N.S. launches program to help reduce ambulance wait times at hospital ER

Paramedics are seen at the Dartmouth, N.S. General Hospital in on July 4, 2013. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia has launched a new pilot program at the QEII Health Sciences Centre Halifax Infirmary site to reduce the amount of time ambulances are waiting at the hospital’s emergency department.

The province announced on Wednesday that it would be investing more than $3 million to pilot the new emergency department transition team, which is expected to be in place by September.

According to the province, the new program will reduce overcrowding within the emergency department, decrease patient wait times and allow paramedics to get back on the road sooner.

READ MORE: Long ambulance wait times an indication of bigger health care problem: Nova Scotia physician

“We are hopeful this new team, along with new patient-flow measures, will mean paramedics can get out of hospital hallways and back to the people who need them,” said Michael Nickerson, the paramedics union business manager, said in a statement.

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“Fewer offload delays will mean paramedics are pulled from surrounding areas less often, reducing shift overruns and allowing for the breaks they deserve,” he added..

In 2017, a similar transition team was created at the Dartmouth General Hospital, which proved effective in reducing offload delays, a release said.

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