Update: 2 pm:
Emergency Health Services says the Central Okanagan will be getting 22 new paramedic positions by January to improve emergency care.
Sixteen of the positions will be in Kelowna, four in West Kelowna, and two for Lake Country.
“All paramedics will be in place by January,” says Fatima Siddiqui from Emergency Health Services.
Kelowna will also get a new ambulance.
Twenty-one new paramedic positions will be added in Kamloops and Chase.
BC Emergency Health Services has announced the addition of 22 new paramedic positions and an additional ambulance to support the health of people living in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country.
Sixteen of those positions will be in Kelowna.
West Kelowna will get four and Lake Country two.
It’s not clear where the new ambulance will be stationed.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says as the central Okanagan continues to grow and thrive, these new positions will ensure paramedics can provide emergency care when people need it the most, and improve the health system as a whole.
No date was given as to when all this will happen.
As part of the BCEHS Action Plan, Kelowna and surrounding communities were identified as a priority in the ongoing review of where services are most needed to improve patient care.
During the past year, 72 new regular paramedic positions have been created in B.C.
This is in addition to dozens of community paramedic and specialized paramedic positions added since 2017.
“Paramedic services are essential to high-quality emergency care,” said Linda Lupini, executive vice president of BCEHS and PHSA. “These additional full-time paramedic positions will enhance the care of patients in Kelowna and surrounding areas.”
The new paramedic positions will be awarded based on the hiring standards in the CUPE 873 Collective Agreement with BCEHS.