Why is AHS EMS doing a HEMS review?

As different helicopter services have developed at different times across the province, oversight and structure of each HEMS provider has also evolved differently. A consistent structure, operating guidelines, and funding for all HEMS providers across the province will benefit all Albertans.

Which elements will the HEMS review consider?

a)  Standards (aviation and medical) for HEMS
b)  Governance of HEMS (accountability framework)
c)  Affordability/Sustainability of HEMS in Alberta.
Fixed-wing air ambulance service provision, ground EMS service levels and provision, and Search and rescue activities prior to medical transport are all excluded from this review.

What is the goal of the HEMS review?

The provincial HEMS review will include evaluation of existing services, and identifying any service gaps.

The HEMS review will provide recommendations that enhance patient care, overall safety, efficiency, reliability and equity for EMS response in remote and rural areas, and to better identify patient need and response areas that would benefit from helicopter medical transport.

What happens to existing HEMS contracts and agreements?

During the review, AHS will maintain the current commitments to provincial HEMS operations. 

When does the review start?

The review begins November 22, 2019.

How long will the HEMS review take?

This review is anticipated to take six to nine months.

What is the review process?

Commencement of the HEMS review will begin with notification to stakeholders
A Canadian expert advisory panel will be assembled to validate best practices
AHS will engage stakeholders on opportunities to align to best practices for HEMS, or to provide a preferred future state of services
AHS will recommend/propose a HEMS model for Alberta
The Advisory panel will provide input and recommendations on the recommended model
AHS will document findings in report
Report will be shared publicly and with stakeholders