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Ambulance Services

Ambulance services provide patients with timely access to emergency medical services (EMS) and fast and safe transportation to the care they need.

Ambulance trips (ground, plane and helicopter) are not provincially insured in Saskatchewan, but the cost is subsidized.

  • The provincial government covers a substantial portion of service costs for road and air ambulance. The remainder is paid through patient fees.
  • Costs can vary based on where you live.
  • You may choose to purchase additional health coverage, or perhaps you already have coverage through a group health benefits program or travel insurance. Another option is to see if you qualify for assistance programs to help pay your portion of the cost.

1. Assistance Programs

  • If you are 65 years of age or older, the Senior Citizens' Ambulance Assistance Program caps fees at $275 per ambulance trip within the province.
  • Lower-income families can have all or some of their fees covered through Family Health Benefits and Supplementary Health Benefits.
  • If you have been injured at work, or are involved in a motor vehicle accident, Worker's Compensation and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) covers the full cost.
  • The Northern Medical Transportation Program covers the cost of emergency transportation provided by private air carriers, medical taxi or road ambulance for all northern residents. The program also covers costs of non-emergency transportation to assist social assistance clients with access to medical treatment and appointments outside their community.

2. Road Ambulance

The Saskatchewan Health Authority provides road ambulance services.

Costs of a Road Ambulance Trip:

  • a basic call “pick up” rate ranging from $245 to $325 for residents of Saskatchewan with a valid health card;
  • a basic "pick-up" rate of $360 for non-residents of Saskatchewan;
  • a per kilometre rate for rural residents to transfer into larger centres, if applicable, for both residents and non-residents of Saskatchewan;
  • an hourly waiting time rate between $50 and $100 to cover the time an ambulance waits in a larger centre to return a patient to their home community; and
  • a special escort fee (based on nurse, therapist or other health professional hourly wage, if needed).

3. Saskatchewan Air Ambulance

Saskatchewan Air Ambulance is available 24 hours a day to transport critically ill and injured patients. It operates in most weather conditions and can be dispatched for an emergency within 30 minutes.

Saskatchewan Air Ambulance is based at the Saskatoon Airport and uses three Transport-Canada-approved King Air B200 aircraft equipped for critical care transport. Flights are staffed by specially-trained air medical crews that include critical care flight nurses and advanced care paramedics.

Cost of an Air Ambulance Trip:

  • There is a $465 charge per flight for Saskatchewan residents.
  • Patients are also responsible for the cost of road ambulance service to and from the airport.

4. STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service)

STARS is a non-profit organization that provides air medical transportation for critically ill and injured patients by helicopter 24-hours-a-day. STARS has bases in Saskatoon and Regina. In addition to the flight crew, STARS air medical teams consist of advanced care paramedics, critical care nurses and physician oversight when needed.

The province signed a 10-year service agreement with STARS in 2011, and provides annual funding to contribute toward operating costs. STARS also receives strong support from the community and the corporate sector through fundraising contributions.

Cost of a STARS Trip:

  • There is a $465 charge per flight for Saskatchewan residents.
  • Patients are also responsible for the cost of any road ambulance service needed before or after the helicopter flight.

5. Specialized Transportation Services

In addition to transporting children and infants to the care they need, these services also provide outreach information to community hospitals and remote communities, informing health providers about pre-transport resuscitation and stabilization of infants and children.

Saskatchewan Pediatric Transport Service

The service coordinates access to specialized hospital services for children throughout the province. If your physician or registered nurse refers your child for urgent pediatric care in Saskatoon or Regina, a transport team may be dispatched if the situation calls for it.

When needed, pediatric transport teams transport critically ill children to Royal University Hospital’s (RUH) Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in Saskatoon. Children who need a high level of monitoring and care but not the subspecialists of the PICU can receive appropriate care closer to home at a high acuity area in Regina General Hospital (RGH).

A pediatrician or pediatric specialist will triage the request for service and make arrangements to transport your child. Arriving by ground EMS or air ambulance, a transport team will assess the situation, confer with the receiving hospital, and provide treatment to stabilize your child for travel. Once your child is as stabilized as possible, the team will continue to provide stabilization and support during transport.

Saskatchewan Neonatal Transportation Service

Neonatal transport teams based at Regina General Hospital and Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital often travel to other communities to stabilize and transport infants for transport via emergency medical services to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), or for cardiology services to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

A neonatologist will assist the community physician in deciding the need for transport and appropriate interim care. Based on your child’s condition, transportation availability and geographical and weather conditions, the neonatologist will dispatch a transport team to your child’s location by ground or air ambulance. The team will assess the situation and provide appropriate stabilization in consultation with the neonatologist. Once your child is as stable as possible, they will be transported to hospital.

Northern Medical Transportation

Limited to specific northern locations, the Northern Medical Transportation Program provides coverage for:

  • Air medical evacuation services for all eligible Saskatchewan residents.
  • Non-emergency medical transportation for Supplementary Health beneficiaries and children whose families receive Family Health Benefits, to assist with travel to medically required appointments and services outside their community.

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