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New Agreement to Reduce Medical Flight Delays in British Columbia


Patients suffering from a non-life-threatening illness or injury will now have an easier time getting a medical flight in British Columbia. This change was brought on as a result of complaints by local leaders that air ambulance delays were posing a threat to people’s lives. The British Columbia Emergency Health Services will be making air ambulance charters accessible for a broader range of patients.

Agency Draws up Agreement with North Cariboo Air

The BC Emergency Health Services have drawn up a new agreement to make inter-hospital transfers available for “low acuity” patients. The agreement was made with North Cariboo Air, with whom the agency has an existing agreement for transporting critically ill or injured patients. Now there will be a dedicated aircraft kept on standby for transporting other types of patients.

Previously, less critically ill patients had to be kept waiting because the agency reserved its medical flight resources for the sickest patients. As a result, people who required medical treatment were unable to access the right medical facilities on time. This new agreement will make sure that low acuity patients won’t have to wait too long before getting transported to the appropriate facility.

Complaints Helped Make Provisions for all-Encompassing Medical Flight

These changes came about after directors from Peace River Regional District raised the air ambulance delay issues with health officials in the province. In their complaint, the leaders expressed the distress of patients who require medical treatment but are unable to access timely treatment because of the delays.

In one case, a patient suffering from a stroke had to wait 24 hours before an air ambulance could transport her to the hospital. With this new agreement, the agency hopes to improve response rates and provide essential care to patients in need.

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