Minister's 'steak night' idea to pay ambulance bill is panned by NDP
Government says fee structure is being examined
The Opposition NDP expressed anger Monday at the notion that a family facing a large ambulance bill consider a steak night fundraiser to cover the cost.
Sara Bucsis-Gunn's daughter died in 2013. The family owes thousands of dollars in ambulance fees.
When she discussed the issue with Greg Ottenbreit, Saskatchewan's Minister of Rural and Remote Health suggested she hold a steak night to help raise money to pay the bill.
Ottenbreit said the suggestion was a short part of an hour long conversation, but the NDP Opposition remains critical.
"Her daughter Leandre was incredibly sick, they had massive ambulance bills and the only option provided by this government was to do a fundraiser and that's not acceptable," Cam Broten, the leader of the NDP, said Monday.
Health minister Dustin Duncan, meanwhile, defended his colleague and said the government is listening to people.
"While the answer may not always be what people want to hear, I think that this government has shown that we take a different approach," Duncan said. "We'll actually sit down and either on the phone or in person meet and hear what people's concerns are."
Duncan noted that ambulance costs are heavily subsidized and added the province is examining its regulations on fees, to ensure they are up to date.