Ontario Approves Essex-Windsor EMS Non-Emergent Patient Treat and Refer Model

New model will reduce burden on hospital emergency rooms

NEWS March 6, 2023

Essex County – The Essex-Windsor EMS (EWEMS) service has been approved for a Non-Emergent Patient Treat and Refer 911 Model of Care.

MPPs Anthony Leardi of Essex and Andrew Dowie of Windsor-Tecumseh, along with EWEMS Chief Bruce Krauter provided more details today.

“The Ontario Ministry of Health and Essex-Windsor EMS are working to ensure our region has the best tools available to deliver the highest possible standards of healthcare,” said MPP Leardi. “This new treatment model, delivered by our outstanding EWEMS professionals, will ensure the rights patients get the right care where and when they need it.”

“The Essex-Windsor EMS team has been working hard to find ways to address capacity issues post-pandemic and optimize their service delivery,” said MPP Dowie. “Our paramedics have the skills to successfully treat and refer patients in non-emergency situations, and I’m pleased that our government is supporting their work and professionalism by supporting the Essex-Windsor 911 Model of Care.”

“Essex Windsor EMS is excited to receive approval from the Ministry of Health to advance Alternate Model of Care to the residents and visitors to the County of Essex, City of Windsor and Pelee Island,” said Chief Krauter, “The new models of care will allow paramedics to determine the right care, at the right time and by the right practitioner. This new practice will allow for timely care for the patients we serve while also reducing the strain on EMS and local emergency departments. We look forward to working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and our health care partners as we roll out this new program.”

EWEMS will provide a treat and refer option for moderate to low-acuity mental health and addictions patients who call 911 by which a Mental Health and Addictions Response Team (MHART) will provide mobile mental health and addictions care. MHART consists of mental health professionals. Paramedics responding to a 911 call who assess a patient who is eligible for this initiative will be referred to the MHART, with patient consent. Once the MHART arrives, the ambulance will be released back into the field. Currently, paramedics are required to transport a patient to a hospital regardless of the severity of their injury. This model would allow for diverting some patients and reduce the burden on emergency departments.

This announcement is the latest in a series of healthcare investments the Ministry of Health has made region, among which are an additional $30 million invested in Windsor Regional Hospital to connect people with improved treatments for patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease while the Ontario government accelerates the timeline to build the new Windsor Regional Hospital, as well as funding which will effectively double the number of MRIs available to the Essex County region.


Paul Synnott

Executive Assistant Andrew Dowie, MPP


Ph: 519-251-0437 Cell: 226-724-6978

Email: paul.synnott@pc.ola.org