Co-ordination of emergency health services in British Columbia will be enhanced with the introduction today of Bill 48.
The Emergency and Health Services Amendment Act, 2012 follows amendments from the spring of 2010 that started the process of integrating ambulance and emergency health services in B.C. more closely with the broader health-care system.
The Emergency & Health Services Commission will continue as British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), and will be aligned with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). BCEHS will continue with its core mandate of providing provincial ambulance and emergency health services, with support from PHSA.
Other provisions in the BCEHS mandate include urgent health services and ancillary health services to support the integration of emergency medical assistants (EMAs), or paramedics, into the broader health sector.
Bill 48 allows for closer co-operation between BCEHS and health authorities in improving patient safety and quality of care. This change recognizes the important role played by paramedics and first responders in overall patient care and reinforces the fact that ambulance services are often the first point of contact.
Minister of Health Michael de Jong -
"With this legislation, we will complete a commitment from 2010 to integrate emergency health services and as a consequence taxpayers will benefit from a more efficient system overall."
Provincial Health Services Authority president and chief executive officer, Lynda Cranston -
"The Provincial Health Services Authority will provide support to British Columbia Emergency Health Services as it continues its role as the first point of contact for people needing emergency care in British Columbia."
BC Emergency Health Services president, Michael MacDougall -
"This new legislation will allow paramedics and first responders to continue to provide quality care to those in need around British Columbia. We also look forward to working with the Province in working towards new roles and responsibilities for our health professionals across the province."
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)