On Wednesday it was announced that the Saskatchewan Health Authority designated Weyburn EMS as an Advanced Life Support ambulance service.
As a result, services by Weyburn EMS will cost $325 per call beginning July 1, 2022. The old rate at the basic life support level was $245. There was also a $2.30 per kilometre charge for calls outside of the city.
Director of EMS for the South Zone, Glen Perchie said a number of factors went into the decision to designate Weyburn EMS as an Advanced Life Support ambulance service.
“It's easier to maintain the skill sets of advanced care paramedics if you have a call volume that's high enough to do that, they need exposure otherwise, there's a lot of ongoing continuing education,” said Perchie. “Weyburn General also sees a number of really high acuity patients, and so we move a lot of patients both to Weyburn General and from, and by having advanced care paramedics we rely less on RNs and physicians to accompany the patient so, it makes really good sense from that point of view.”
He added a number of their staff have taken advanced care training.
Perchie said it’s a good idea for people to have a third-party health insurer, and to confirm that their insurer covers EMS fees.
“It's also important to know that the government of Saskatchewan has a number of programs that either offset or cover EMS fees for a number of people, including our seniors.”
Programs such as the Supplementary Health Benefits Program will continue to provide financial assistance for emergency transport.