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EMS Enhancements for 31 Communities Across the Province

Released on April 19, 2023

An increase of $8.8 million annual funding in the 2023-24 provincial budget will support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) improvements for 31 Saskatchewan communities by adding rural and remote ground ambulance staff, expanding community paramedicine, addressing wage parity issues, and providing more operational funding for contracted EMS operators and communication upgrades.

"EMS providers in Saskatchewan communities are on the frontlines of patient care, and our government is committed to supporting this critical priority area with funding for additional paramedics, ambulances and other essential resources," Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said. "This year's investment is part of a multi-year commitment to stabilize emergency services and modernize the system to improve overall response times, patient care and patient flow through the system as well as addressing offload delays."

The funding increase of $8.8 million includes over $3.5 million to support the addition of 33 full time equivalent (FTE) positions in the following 27 Saskatchewan communities:

Biggar Lestock Prince Albert
Carnduff Lloydminster Radville
Cupar Melville Shaunavon
Cut Knife Moose Jaw Stoughton
Eston Nipawin Wakaw
Fillmore Norquay Wawota
Hudson Bay North Battleford Weyburn
Kamsack Outlook Wilkie
Kindersley Porcupine Plain Yorkton

A $739,000 increase will expand the community paramedicine program within five  communities in rural and northern Saskatchewan, further enhancing the available community supports. This funding includes an additional 3.75 FTE community paramedicine positions that will be distributed across a number of ground ambulance services in the province, including the communities of La Ronge, Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Estevan and Weyburn. 

"The additional funding provided by the Government of Saskatchewan is another positive step to advancing our vital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) throughout the province," Saskatchewan Health Authority Vice-President, Provincial Clinical and Support Services John Ash said. "Our EMS staff will be better supported and equipped to provide the best possible care to the people of Saskatchewan. Patients, especially those in rural areas, will have a more stabilized EMS service and quicker access to our health-care teams."

Contracted EMS providers across the province will receive a $2.6 million increase in wage parity funding to assist with recruitment and retention measures by ensuring wages remain competitive.

Other key investments include: 

  • $866,000 to support a two per cent grant increase for contracted ambulance operators across the province to mitigate rising operational pressures;
  • Over $1 million to support EMS communications equipment and technology upgrades.

"Paramedic Services Chiefs of Saskatchewan is pleased with the announcement in the provincial budget," Paramedic Services Chiefs of Saskatchewan President Steven Skoworodko said. "The investment of $8.8 million dollars is a strong commitment to addressing on going crucial needs of ambulance services and paramedics in the province. We look forward to ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Health as well as the SHA to ensure the best patient care is brought to the residents of Saskatchewan."

Please see attached backgrounder for a full list of investments within each community.


For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Phone: 306-787-4083

Saskatchewan Health Authority
Phone: 1-833-766-4392

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