Five Northeast Sask. communities to benefit from provincial EMS funding
Nipawin, Wakaw, Hudson Bay and Porcupine Plain are among the communities benefiting from provincial funding to improve emergency medical services.
An increase of $8.8 million annual funding in the 2023-24 provincial budget will support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) improvements for 31 Saskatchewan communities by adding rural and remote ground ambulance staff, expanding community paramedicine, addressing wage parity issues, and providing more operational funding for contracted EMS operators and communication upgrades, said a press release from the provincial government.
"EMS providers in Saskatchewan communities are on the frontlines of patient care, and our government is committed to supporting this critical priority area with funding for additional paramedics, ambulances and other essential resources," Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said. "This year's investment is part of a multi-year commitment to stabilize emergency services and modernize the system to improve overall response times, patient care and patient flow through the system as well as addressing offload delays."
The funding increase of $8.8 million includes over $3.5 million to support the addition of 33 full time equivalent (FTE) positions in t27 Saskatchewan communities.
A $739,000 increase will expand the community paramedicine program within five communities in rural and northern Saskatchewan, further enhancing the available community supports.
"The additional funding provided by the Government of Saskatchewan is another positive step to advancing our vital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) throughout the province," John Ash, Vice-President, Provincial Clinical and Support Services in the Saskatchewan Health Authority said. "Our EMS staff will be better supported and equipped to provide the best possible care to the people of Saskatchewan. Patients, especially those in rural areas, will have a more stabilized EMS service and quicker access to our health-care teams."
Dale Hunter, Senior Media Relations Consultant with Ministry for Health, said in order to help evaluate and determine the healthcare needs and resources that are required within its communities, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) meets with community leaders and ambulance operators on a regular basis to discuss EMS needs in their areas. These investments support a multi-year plan to improve EMS staffing across the province, focusing on rural and remote communities in three critical priorities: Stabilizing areas that are occasionally out of service; Stabilizing areas that have experienced increased call volumes; and providing additional resources to support emergency department stabilization in mid-sized hospitals that serve a larger catchment population.
Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal