"If an ambulance isn’t available because we don’t have enough paramedics, the price of the fee doesn’t really matter." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (03 April 2019) — Earlier this year, the Manitoba government committed to hire an additional 35 primary care paramedics in 2019. On April 2, the government repeated that promise at a media event held to promote lower ambulance fees (now $250 per trip).
No more announcements, hire paramedics now
Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), welcomed the lowered fees, which will help to ensure more Manitobans can afford to call an ambulance in an emergency, but said more paramedics are needed to provide the service, particularly in rural Manitoba.
"There’s no question that the lower fee is good news for all Manitobans, particularly for seniors and those on a fixed income. But, if an ambulance isn’t available because we don’t have enough paramedics, the price of the fee doesn’t really matter," Gawronsky said.
The Manitoba EMS System Review that completed in 2013 concluded that an additional 430 equivalent full-time (EFT) primary care paramedics were needed in rural Manitoba to bring the total number to 888 EFT positions in the province.
The government says they have committed to hire 95 full-time rural paramedics since taking office in 2016.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE