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EMS Budget Enhancements Benefit EMS Services Across Province

The 2024-25 Provincial Budget investment for emergency medical services (EMS) is stabilizing and enhancing services in communities across the province, including rural and northern communities. 

Government provided an increase of over $7.5 million in annual funding to deliver ongoing support for additional EMS and community paramedicine positions added in Saskatoon last year and to provide competitive wages for paramedics working for contracted EMS services. 

It has also boosted funding and resources for EMS and community paramedicine in rural and northern Saskatchewan communities resulting in more stable ambulance services.

“This funding increase has begun adding necessary resources and capacity to stabilize services and help with emergency response times,” Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod said. “Government’s multi-year EMS plan continues to address gaps within rural and remote communities and demonstrates our strong commitment to supporting EMS staff and ultimately benefitting patients.”

As part of a multi-year, provincial EMS stabilization plan 54 Saskatchewan communities received EMS enhancements of $10.85 million. This year’s stabilization plan provides funding for two First Nations ambulance services that currently serve the areas of Onion Lake and Pelican Narrows and adds 21.19 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions starting on October 1, 2024 (annualized to 42.73 FTEs in 2025-26) to support the following 14 communities:

  1. Beechy
  2. Carlyle
  3. Estevan
  4. Imperial
  5. Ituna
  6. Kelvington
  7. Naicam
  8. Onion Lake
  9. Pelican Narrows
  10. Prince Albert
  11. Richmound
  12. Rosetown
  13. Swift Current
  14. Wadena

These additional resources will help ensure Saskatchewan residents have access to consistent and timely EMS services. 

“The SHA supports the Government of Saskatchewan’s enhancements to rural EMS, which includes funding that allows for additional staffing and supports community paramedicine programs,”  Saskatchewan Health Authority Provincial Programs-Community Care Executive Director Rod MacKenzie said. “Enhancements like this go a long way in helping rural and remote communities receive quality health care services when they need it most.”

Funding is also being provided to support the ongoing technology upgrades for the EMS Medical Communication and Coordination Centre and support contracted operators to ensure that they can recruit and retain staff and mitigate increasing operational pressures. 

“I am optimistic about the funding as we enter the third year of a multi-year stabilization plan,” Paramedic Services Chiefs of Saskatchewan President Jen Larre said. “The investment of $7.5 million dollars signifies an ongoing commitment to addressing the pressing needs of ambulance services and paramedics in Saskatchewan. Paramedic Service Chiefs of Saskatchewan sees the importance and values the ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to ensure that the best possible patient care is delivered to the residents of the province.”

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