Air Bravo, a private-sector air-ambulance service which provides patient transport services under contract to Ornge, is responsible for delivering this service, according to a news release.
The six-month trial will provide airplane service for patients with scheduled appointments for hospital treatment. An advanced level of medical care will be offered on these flights to meet the needs of patients requiring the service.
Ornge announced the program in June and recently awarded the contract after a request for quotation was issued to its contracted carriers.
“With the launch of this trial, we are taking a significant step toward enhancing patient care in Ontario's northern communities,” said Ron McKerlie, Interim President and CEO of Ornge. “We are happy to work with Air Bravo, a valued private-sector partner with a long record of service to the patients of Ontario, in finding new ways to provide effective and efficient coverage throughout the region.”
Vanda Cooper, Director of Emergency, Critical Care and Access at Sault Area Hospital said regularly scheduled air transport for patients with appointments allow for better planning of out-of-town treatments while freeing up Ornge aircraft for emergent transfers.
“We are pleased with the introduction of this new service,” said Health Sciences North Chief of Staff Dr. Chris Bourdon, vice-president of Medical and Academic Affairs, and an Emergency Department physician. “It should greatly improve the timeliness of medical transfers between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, which is better for our patients, and helps the hospital system run more efficiently,”
During the trial, the advanced level of care service will operate from Monday to Friday. The transport of patients with scheduled appointments will be booked by the hospitals in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie through Ornge's Operations Control Centre. The airplanes are configured to transport at least two patients per flight.
This program will allow Ornge to free up its dedicated airplanes and helicopters for more urgent and emergency cases. Results of this trial will be monitored to determine if this program is beneficial to patients and the hospitals.