Under The Dome
Promise made, promise kept: ambulance fees further reduced
Manitobans in potentially life-threatening situations should not have to worry about whether they can afford an ambulance before calling for one. Our government is continuing to address this concern by further reducing ambulance fees by $85, as we work toward our goal to cut the fees to half of what they were under the previous NDP administration.
This latest reduction, which took effect on April 1, 2018, has brought the fee down to $340 from $425 – a decrease of 20 percent on the bill Manitobans pay for ambulance service. Customers now pay either $340 or the service provider’s pre-existing base fee, whichever is lower.
The new price is also part of our government’s average total ambulance fee reduction of $182 since 2016, when the average price for ambulance service in Manitoba was $522. This is a total decrease of 35 per cent in the fee in the past two years, bringing us more than halfway to our goal of reducing it by 50 per cent in our first term. Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living will continue to work with regional health authorities across the province to further reduce the fee during the next two years.
The fee reductions are part of our government’s commitment to more affordable and better, more-timely emergency medical services (EMS) for families throughout Manitoba. We are not only well on our way to lowering ambulance fees to half of what they were under the NDP, but we hired 29 new paramedics in 2017 and have created 60 more full-time paramedic positions across the province as part of our 2018 budget.
As our government moves forward in implementing the recommendations of the 2013 EMS Review, we will be able to better locate these services and match resources to get ambulances where and when they are needed.
We will also continue to work with our partners in the regional health authorities and with paramedics, as well as with other ambulance providers including municipalities and First Nations communities, to ensure consistent, reliable and affordable EMS care for Manitobans. Everyone in Manitoba deserves predictable and reliable ambulance services, right across the province.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at email@example.com.