Northern Health is starting a program to determine new ways to transport patients between facilities.
The authority will be implementing a Patient Transport Pilot Project and is currently taking proposals.
The project would be used for transferring non-emergency patients between hospitals. It would help cut costs and the use of ambulances because the paramedics would not be necessary for these patients.
The service would be in addition to the Northern Health Connections program, which transports residents to other cities for medical treatments that may not be offered in the person’s community.
Currently, the BC Ambulance Service transports around 9,000 patients every year but the project will allow other less critical patients to be transferred when practical.
This type of alternative service has been used in B.C. since the late 1990s.
The pilot project is expected to begin in April 2011.