Niagara Region's Public Health Committee seeks answers in ambulance offload times

Skyrocketing patient offload wait times remain a key concern for Niagara's Region's Public Health and Social Services Committee, but answers are few and far between.

Speaking during the meeting, Niagara EMS Chief Kevin Smith pointed to the fact there is often nowhere for patients to go.

"When we speak with our hospital partners and talk about capacity, the hospital is running over capacity nearly all the time where there just physically is not anywhere to put patients."

Smith could not point to any one factor to attribute the lack of space to.

Welland Councillor George Marshall pushed regional staff to ask hospital administration if anything has changed administratively or otherwise.

"That's a question, not an accusation, an allegation - the spike is disproportionate to anything I can imagine statistically."

Niagara EMS spent more than 15,000 hours waiting outside emergency departments last year.