The Ontario government is making changes to local ambulance services. They are planning to merge the 59 local ambulance services and public health units in Ontario into 10 units.
The plan was hinted at in the budget last week. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli hinted to “integrating emergency health services into Ontario’s health care system.”
The budget document states, “the government will streamline the way land ambulance dispatch services are delivered by better integrating Ontario’s 59 emergency health services operators and 22 dispatch centres. The government is exploring new models of care and delivery for emergency health services to improve care for patients and reduce duplication.”
Two sources have also told CBC News that the government will merge all municipal and local paramedic operation into 10 regional ambulance providers and ten public health units.
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According to the CBC article, the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs is holding what it describes as an “emergency meeting” about the merger plan.
Municipal governments currently contribute about $720 million to ambulance services, while the province chips in $580 million.
“We’re just reviewing that right now,” Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference in Markham. “Nothing is carved in stone, but we’re going to look at everything.”
What do you think of this proposed merge by the Ford government?
Photo courtesy of Chief Greg Sage.