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Winnipeg Renews Call for Province to Fully Fund Ambulance Service

December 5, 2018 11:29 AM | News

Winnipeg wants to ensure the province covers all costs associated with emergency medical transport in the city.

Mayor Brian Bowman‘s executive policy committee is directing the city to seek full cost recovery in 2019 from Shared Health Services as part of negotiating a new service delivery contract for EMS in Winnipeg.

“Health services are a provincial government responsibility and this includes emergency medical services,” said Bowman.

“Delivering a provincial service should not come at the expense of Winnipeg property taxpayers. It’s important that as a contractor delivering these services on the province’s behalf that it be done so at a level that is cost neutral to the City of Winnipeg.”

The province is currently responsible for providing health services to Winnipeg residents, including emergency medical services, inter-facility medical transportation, and community paramedicine services. The city has been delivering the services on behalf of the province under a contract with Shared Health, which is expired March 31, 2016. The deal was temporarily extended between both parties until April 2017, but a new formal agreement hasn’t been signed.

Bowman says funding to the city for EMS was frozen by the Pallister government at 2016 levels for 2017 and 2018.

Bowman added the city isn’t willing to subsidize the cost of delivering a provincial health service through property taxes, noting Winnipeggers are already facing increases in automobile insurance rates and electricity rates.