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Med-Response launches groundbreaking new medical support service in NWT

YELLOWKNIFE (February 26, 2015) – Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy announced the launch of a new service to help health care practitioners better meet the medical needs of residents in all NWT communities today. Called Med-Response, the service provides a single phone number practitioners can call to coordinate and triage air ambulance flights and immediately access the clinical expertise they need; whether that is a Nurse Practitioner, ER physician, NWT specialist, or specialist from Alberta.

”Med-Response gives health care workers across the NWT improved and timely access to air ambulance services and clinical support, which allows them to focus on providing the best care for Northerners,” stated Minister Abernethy.

The Med-Response system is breaking new ground in Canada. While other jurisdictions have separate call centres for air ambulance dispatch or for clinical consultation, the NWT is the first to combine these functions into one centre. The single phone number works in all regions and Med-Response staff are available 24/7.

Dr. Anna Reid, STHA Medical Director, explained, “In an emergency situation, Med-Response is designed to meet two needs: it reduces the amount of time health care practitioners in every community spend arranging air ambulance transport; and it ensures that they have fast, consistent, and reliable access to clinical support when they require it. This collaborative service allows them to focus their time and efforts on their patients.”

Dr. Reid noted that Med-Response is not a public help line or 911 service, but is an internal service designed to support health care practitioners as part of a system-wide approach to meet the medical needs of all NWT residents.

For a backgrounder on Med-Response click here.
Media inquiries:
Umesh Sutendra
Policy, Legislation, Communications
NWT Department of Health & Social Services
Tel: 867-920-3368