Kevin Beresford, chief executive officer of the IRHA, says there have been some closures of acute care beds recently preventing the IRHA from operating at full capacity.
says right now they have 125 out of 139 beds open, with closures happening in Selkirk, Gimli, Teulon, Ashern, Arborg and other areas of the Interlake.
says the closures are due in part to a nursing shortage.
says a bed shortage is something the IRHA
has dealt with in the past.
says that over the last four years, there has been a 43 per cent increase in volume, with the IRHA responding to about 14,000 calls per year.
The region has 16 staffed ambulances operating out of 11 sites, and a seasonal population boost in the Interlake has created additional demand for the service.
says people who travel to the Interlake in the winter and summer for recreational activities (such as snowmobiling in the winter and beaches in the summer) lead to an increased number of injuries in the area that demand EMS attention.
The high amounts of traffic the Interlake sees also contributes to the volume of calls as higher traffic results in a greater number of motor vehicle collisions.
â€œWeâ€™re in a high traffic area and there are a lot of accidents,â€ Beresford says.
An aging population in the Interlake, with higher health needs, also results in increased pressure on EMS services, and Beresford
suggested the high quality of service the IRHA
provides may encourage the public to call them more often.
In order to respond to the increase in demand, the IRHA
is requesting additional funding to buy more vehicles and hire more staff.
The request will go to Manitoba Health, and Beresford
says they should know by May if the funding request is approved.