A tourist from Ontario is shocked by the bill she got for an ambulance ride on P.E.I. last summer.
Kelly Morin, from the community of Finch near Ottawa, always wanted to see the Green Gables house in P.E.I. National Park, but couldn't afford the trip on a fixed income. But friends were heading this way, so she tagged along.
Just before the ferry docked at Wood Islands things started going wrong.
"I started to feel very dizzy, and I just couldn't stand," Morin told CBC News recently.
"I passed out."
Ambulance ride cost for non-residents
- Nova Scotia: $672
- New Brunswick: $650
- Ontario: $240
- P.E.I.: $600
Morin has hepatitis C, and says this happens when she gets over-excited.
Ferry employees called an ambulance. Morin said her friends could drive her to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, but she felt she wasn't given the choice. Three months later, Morin got a $600 bill, four times what an Island resident would pay.
"I could have took a jet home. Come on! This is ridiculous," she said.
The Ontario government, like many provinces, doesn't cover out-of-province ambulance rides, which leaves Morin having to pay the bill. She thinks it's an outrageous fee for a 60-kilometer trip.
"They're gouging, and they're trying to get away with it," she said.
Jamie MacDonald, director of clinical services for Health PEI, said that is not an unusual cost for an ambulance ride. "If we look at comparing ourselves to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick we have very similar costs," said Morin.
Morin said she has been threatened with a collection agency. She's decided to pay up, at a rate of $5 a month, but she's never coming back to P.E.I.