The Province has announced that more front-line, full-time paramedics are working in communities across Manitoba, fulfilling the province’s Budget 2019 commitment to further enhancing rural emergency medical services. Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen made the announcement November 14, 2019.
In Budget 2019, the Manitoba government announced a $1.4-million investment in an additional 35 full-time equivalent rural paramedic positions, increasing to $2.8 million in subsequent years. The majority of positions have now been filled, with work underway to have remaining positions in place by mid-January, the minister added.
These new paramedics will be providing emergency response services (EMS) to communities within the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) region such as Russell and Swan River.
When all the new hires are in place, Manitoba will have increased EMS funding by $12.1 million, allowing for the creation of an additional 149.2 full-time equivalent paramedic positions. Friesen noted these investments are in addition to the government’s most recent commitment to hire an additional 80 full-time paramedics over the next four years.
The Province has invested $10 million to purchase 65 replacement ambulances that modernize the province’s fleet, ensure paramedic safety and improve patient comfort. Minister Friesen made the announcement on November 20, 2019. The 65 new ambulances, which represent about one-third of the province’s overall fleet, were designed with enhanced patient care in mind. Of the 65 ambulances, 27 will be replacement ambulances within the PMH region.
New ambulances feature enhanced lighting, additional working space for paramedics to have better movement and access to patients and increased secure storage compartments for medical equipment.
Through a partnership with Heart & Stroke, all new ambulances will help raise awareness of the signs of stroke and the importance of acting quickly by displaying FAST decals on their back windows.
The minister said the investments are part of the government’s commitment to enact recommendations made in the 2013 EMS System Review.
For additional information on emergency medical services and response in Manitoba click here .