The head of the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa is blasting the Ottawa Hospital for causing a major backlog of ambulances waiting to offload patients at the General campus.
"It's a massive communication breakdown on the Ottawa Hospital's part," says Darryl Wilton, President of the association.
A video posted to the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa Facebook page Tuesday night showed over a dozen ambulances, including some from Prescott and Russell, waiting to offload patients. The association says at one point, there were 19 crews stuck waiting.
"One hospital is putting all of Eastern Ontario in a very dangerous predicament," reads part of the post.
According to Wilton, the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus emergency department initiated re-direct protocol just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. It means the Civic was no longer accepting ambulances and all patients were being diverted to the General.
"(Paramedics) have the same amount of patients, but there was not enough capacity or staff at (the General) to handle the volume," Wilton says.
In a statement emailed to CTV News, the Ottawa Hospital says there has been a higher than usual number of patients at the Hospital's emergency departments.
"Those with emergent care needs received timely access to care based on clinical assessment. Five vehicles arrived within a 45 minute window. Volume was up (Tuesday night) across the region. Hospitals have been working together with paramedics to manage the volume," the statement reads.
All four hospitals in Ottawa are operating at- or over-capacity, but Wilton is most concerned about the ramifications of so many crews having to wait to offload patients.
"How many areas of the city are left uncovered with so many crews tied up at emergency departments? If someone calls 911, there may not be an ambulance to respond," he says.