Members' call for third-party review of EMS answered by provincial government

Alberta Municipalities members passed a resolution at the 2021 annual Convention calling for the Government of Alberta and the Minister of Health to undertake an independent third-party review of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) emergency ambulance dispatch system and to investigate the increase in response times and the technical outages that have occurred since the ambulance dispatch transition began in Alberta in 2009.

On January 24, 2022, the province government announced in a news release that this third-party review will take place this year. The process of securing a consultant to do the review will begin in February.

"Alberta Municipalities is pleased that the provincial government has responded to our call to action to review and address the current state of Alberta's Emergency Medical Services (EMS)," said President Cathy Heron. "We look forward to working closely with the provincial government to ensure Albertans receive the agile, responsive, and effective EMS system they need, now and for decades to come."

The Government of Alberta's news release also stated that an EMS provincial advisory committee is being formed and identified a 10-point plan to ensure the most critical patients receive immediate care while maximizing the system's existing capacity. President Heron is Alberta Municipalities' representative.

Alberta Municipalities will remain engaged throughout the term of the advisory committee and for the duration of the third-party review.

Advocacy work related to a second EMS-related resolution passed by members at the 2021 Convention will also continue. This resolution called for the Government of Alberta to immediately consult with municipalities and the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) to develop a plan to make urgently needed improvements to the delivery and performance of the ambulance system, where municipalities are recognized and compensated for the role they play in support of the provincial health care system. Over the coming days and months, Alberta Municipalities’ Board and Committees will meet with representatives of both HSAA and Alberta Health Services.

If you have any questions or comments about Alberta Municipalities’ advocacy work related to these two EMS resolutions, please email our advocacy [at] (Advocacy team).