As more and more Saskatchewan people struggle to get affordable access to ambulance services throughout the province, the NDP is calling on the Sask. Party to finally scrap fees for inter-hospital transfers and start working towards the day we no longer have among the most expensive ambulance fees in the country.
“If even one person chooses not to call an ambulance for help in a medical emergency because the fees are too expensive, that is too many,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “Sadly, that’s what we continue to hear – horror stories of enormous bills and people thinking twice about calling for help because the Sask. Party hasn’t addressed having one of the costliest ambulance systems in Canada.”
According to the Ministry of Health, the average cost per ambulance call was nearly $1,100 to the patient.
People living in rural Saskatchewan are disproportionately penalized by high ambulance fees, as those who must be transported to major cities by ambulance are charged a per-kilometre fee. Saskatchewan is also the only jurisdiction in Canada that charges patients for transfer from one health facility to another. Doctors are raising concerns about the impact these costs are having on patient health.
“We’re the proud home of universal medicare: it’s not right for Saskatchewan people to have to pay for being sick,” Mowat said. “We need to see the Sask. Party finally get off the sidelines and actually address this issue instead of the complacency they’ve shown this issue for years.”