Original Published 15:57 Apr 07, 2022

By Jessica Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Government of Saskatchewan announced funding for investments in ambulance staffing costs to address critical priority area for several communities including Humboldt, Melfort and Naicam.

Both the ambulance services for Humboldt and Melfort are being funded for an additional eight hour on duty crew daily, as well as funding support for an additional 16-hour standby shift.

Naicam & District Ambulance has received additional funding to offset their current operating costs. They will remain a stand-by service where staff are called in when a response is required.

“Our government is committed to getting emergency medical services for our residents back on track by addressing critical areas of need with a dedicated focus on rural, remote and northern communities,” said Everett Hindley, provincial minister for mental health and addictions, seniors and rural and remote health in the announcement.

“Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a valuable part of our overall health care system, and we are grateful for the service they provide. This significant new investment with strengthen ambulance services in 27 communities across our province.”

The announcement came alongside 24 other communities receiving, put together creating a total of approximately $10.8 million in funding or 70.7 full time equivalent positions.

Much of the funding commitment is targeted to address the ongoing pressures experienced in many of the rural and remote ambulance services in the communities. 

The province said that its goal is to provide the resources needed to create full-time positions that are necessary to recruit and retain staff in a number of communities that currently do not have guaranteed hours of work; as well as to enhance the resources needed for mid-sized ambulance services that continue to be challenged with meeting the growing demand in their response area.

It also seeks to provide EMS with resources required to support other Saskatchewan Health Authority priorities within the province.

The other communities receiving funding include Beauval, Beechy, Big River, Blaine Lake, Buffalo Narrows, Cut Knife, Frontier, Imperial, Indian Head, Kipling, Kyle, La Ronge, Lloydminster, Macklin, Maple Creek, Meadow Lake, Melville, Moosomin, , North Battleford, Oxbow, Redvers, Rosetown, St. Walburg and Yorkton.

This item reprinted from Humboldt Journal, Humboldt, Saskatchewan.