Ambulance fees in Manitoba to drop next year
First step in 4-year project to cut ambulance fees by 50 per cent
Ambulance fees are going to drop around the province in the new year, the province announced Wednesday.
Effective Jan. 1, a ride in an ambulance will cost Manitobans $475 or the pre-existing base fee for the region, whichever is lower.
Surcharges will also be removed, including kilometer fees.
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In Winnipeg, that will mean a reduction of just under $50 from the average ambulance fee of $522, the province said.
"People have told us ambulance fees in Manitoba are too high and we have heard these concerns," said Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen.
"We are taking the first steps to reduce ambulance fees and help make this important service more affordable for Manitobans."
During the provincial election, the Progressive Conservatives promised to cut ambulance fees in half if they won.
The Tory government is working with regional health authorities throughout the province to continue a plan to achieve that goal over four years.
The province already covers fees for some services, including transportation between health care facilities and helicopter and air ambulance transportation.
Ambulances fall outside of the Canada Health Act, and costs for ambulance services are the responsibility of the patient.
In Manitoba, land ambulance services are delivered by a variety of service providers, including regional health authorities. Fees vary region to region and generally cover about 50 per cent of the cost of operations, the province said.
Examples of the fee reductions:
Winnipeg: a decrease to $475 from an average of $522;
The former Assiniboine region of Prairie Mountain Health: a decrease to $475 from $530;
The former Parkland region of Prairie Mountain Health: the elimination of a $3-per-kilometre fee;
City of Thompson: a decrease to $475 from $500 and the elimination of a flat rate of $800 for trips longer than 100 kilometres; and
Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority: the elimination of a $3-per-kilometre fee.