Over 20 EMS positions to be added in Regina: province
The Government of Saskatchewan announced it will be adding 24.5 full-time equivalent positions to Regina EMS.
“We’ve heard from residents and paramedics that we need to do more to improve ambulance response times,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said in a news release.
The positions will be phased in over the next three months, according to the province.
“We’ve seen the pressures that are in Regina and Saskatoon, we want to alleviate some of those pressures," Merriman told CTV News on Wednesday.
"But it’s not just boots on the ground, that’s a critical piece, its also about creating some efficiencies within the emergency room, within the hospital, so those paramedics when they do come in and bring a patient, they can turn that patient around quickly and get back out on the road and address the next call.”
In reference to the issue of offload delays, Merriman said pilot programs such as “treat and release” in Saskatoon are offering potential solutions.
The "treat and release" program allows paramedics to arrive on a scene, consult with a doctor and treat a patient while giving them a continuum of care to follow up with a physician.
Karen Wasylenko, President of the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan, was cautiously optimistic following the announcement.
“Well this is certainly a positive piece of news,” she told CTV News. “We’re pleased that understaffing has been recognized as a significant issue and its being addressed. Having said that, we also have to recognize that in addition to the understaffing in Regina EMS that there’s still quite a few understaffing issues in rural but this is a good step forward.”
When asked what effect the increase in staffing would have on Regina EMS, Wasylenko reiterated that only time will tell.
“I think we’re going to have to wait and see how this comes into the operations, how the SHA improves the services with these numbers and again we’ll have to wait and see if this is going to do the job.”
According to the province, EMS call volumes in Regina increased by over 14 per cent from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022.
This equals almost 27,000 calls answered in 2020-2021 and almost 31,000 calls in 2021-2022.
The new positions will help to staff two more ambulances in Regina in addition to two additional smaller paramedic response units.
Two new EMS coordinators will also be hired to support paramedics throughout the province.
The expansion of service will be funded by the existing EMS budget within the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) for a total cost of $2.4 million annually.
NDP MLA and Health Critic Vicki Mowat released a statement calling for more action on the issue of EMS service following the province's announcement.
“Simply posting a few jobs online is only the first step and Premier Moe should not be patting himself on the back until the job is actually done," the statement read.
"While this first step might improve service in Regina, we know the issues in our ambulance system are province-wide and system-wide reform is needed.”
Regina Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Biden is coming to Canada: Here's what we know about his visit
U.S. President Joe Biden is coming to Canada Thursday evening, kicking off his short but long-awaited official visit to Canada. Here's what CTV News has confirmed about what will be on the agenda, and what key players are saying about the upcoming visit.
What are the predictions for Canada's real estate market this spring?
The Canadian real estate market has been sluggish since last year, when prospective buyers started putting off plans to purchase homes as the Bank of Canada aggressively hiked interest rates eight consecutive times. But realtors see many edging toward a purchase once more.
Canada broke a population growth record in 2022: StatCan
Canada's population grew by more than one million over the course of one calendar year, breaking previous records, a new Statistics Canada report says.
5 planets will align in an arc across the night sky next week
Sky-gazers will be treated to a parade of planets near the end of month when Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars will appear together in the night sky.
Federal government allowing Ukrainians overseas to apply for free emergency visa until mid-July
The federal government will give Ukrainians until mid-July to apply for a free temporary visa to Canada under an emergency program put in place last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Prince William visits troops in Poland on surprise trip
Prince William made an unannounced trip to Poland on Wednesday to thank British and Polish troops involved in providing support to Ukraine, before meeting refugees who have fled the conflict with Russia to hear of their experiences.
AP sources: Manhattan DA postpones Trump grand jury session
Manhattan prosecutors postponed a scheduled grand jury session Wednesday in the investigation into Donald Trump over hush money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign, at least temporarily slowing a decision on whether to charge the ex-president.
What made Beethoven sick? DNA from his hair offers clues
Nearly 200 years after Ludwig van Beethoven's death, researchers pulled DNA from strands of his hair, searching for clues about the health problems and hearing loss that plagued him.
Dick Van Dyke suffers 'minor injuries' in Malibu car crash
Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke has suffered minor injuries after his car was involved in a collision in Malibu, California, police in the city have confirmed.
Here's what we could see in the 2023-24 provincial budget
The long awaited 2023-24 provincial budget will be unveiled in the Legislature on Wednesday afternoon, outlining the government’s taxation and spending plans for next year.
'I felt the shock go through my whole body': Saskatoon woman wins $100K on scratch ticket
A Saskatoon woman is $100,000 richer after winning an instant scratch ticket.
Sask. sees largest population increase in over a century
Saskatchewan experienced its largest population growth in more than a century last year.
Manitoba's minimum wage is increasing
The minimum wage in Manitoba is increasing to $15.30 this October.
Major risk of flooding on Red River this spring, predicts Manitoba government
There is a major risk of flooding on the Red River this spring, according to Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre
Police release picture of suspect in assault case
Winnipeg police are looking for the public's help in trying to identify a suspect in an assault case.
Why were there fireworks in Calgary last night?
Plenty of Calgarians were surprised to hear the sound of fireworks ringing through the city on Tuesday night.
Calgary councillor expecting first child
Calgary councillor Jasmine Mian and her husband are expecting their first child.
Zellers food truck rolls into Calgary on Thursday as store reopens
The Calgary Zellers location opens to the public on Thursday and those visiting the nostalgic retailer will also be able to grab a bite from the Zellers Diner on Wheels.
Memorial donuts being sold in support of slain Edmonton police officers
A Crossfield, Alta., bakery is creating something special in memory of Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan, who were shot to death last week.
Police say body of woman found on path by Prospect Point Park storm pond
An investigation is underway following the discovery of a woman's body along a park pathway in Fort McMurray, Alta.
Oilers sign Swedish centre Carl Berglund to entry-level contract
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Carl Berglund to a two-year entry level contract.
Ontario to get rid of temporary paid sick days, lift some COVID measures in LTC homes
The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario will not extend its temporary paid sick day program.
Mystery surrounds Markham, Ont. woman who 'disappeared without a trace'
A Markham, Ont. woman who has been missing for nearly three weeks 'disappeared without a trace,' police say.
Nearly $2M worth of allegedly fake Nike, Calvin Klein seized from Toronto clothing store: police
Customers of one Etobicoke clothing store may want to check the tags on their purchases after police say they seized nearly $2 million worth of fake merchandise.
Sutcliffe not ruling out public funding for new Senators arena
As the sale of the Ottawa Senators heats up, the city's mayor isn't ruling out public funding for a new downtown arena for the team.
Here are the road closures to expect when U.S. President Biden visits Ottawa
The city of Ottawa has released its list of road closures for the presidential motorcade and visit, starting Thursday when Biden arrives and ending Friday night after his departure.
Ottawa Hospital says for-profit surgeries not impacting other procedures
The Ottawa Hospital says it's working with a group of surgeons providing for-profit orthopedic surgeries at the Riverside Campus on Saturdays to ensure there is "no impact on staffing" and cancer procedures at the hospital.
1 person sent to hospital after 2-vehicle crash in Langley
A two-vehicle crash in Langley late Tuesday sent at least one person to hospital.
Lifetime teaching ban for B.C. man convicted for 'inappropriate' contact with student
A middle school teacher from British Columbia has been banned from his profession for life after pleading guilty to assault for an incident involving a student.
Homicide team deployed to West Vancouver after man stabbed in apartment parkade
An altercation in a West Vancouver parking garage escalated to a deadly stabbing late Tuesday afternoon.
WATCH LIVE AT 4:30
WATCH LIVE AT 4:30 | 5 remain missing as crews continue search through wreckage of Old Montreal fire
The search for victims continues in Old Montreal Wednesday, nearly a week after a major fire left at least two dead and five missing. Rescuers are slowly but surely combing through the historic building, which contained multiple illegal Airbnb units at the time of the fire.
'Bricks versus bodies': Father agonizes over pace of recovery efforts in old Montreal fire
As the search for victims of a five-alarm fire in Old Montreal stretched into its fifth day on Tuesday, friends and family members are getting frustrated with the pace of the investigation and lack of answers.
WEATHER WARNING | Freezing rain warning in effect for Montreal
It may officially be spring, but wintery weather is hanging on. A Colorado low moving into Quebec is expected to bring light freezing rain this evening, after the evening rush hour
Caught on cam: Dramatic orca encounter at Victoria breakwater
A pair of orcas delighted onlookers at Victoria's Ogden Point breakwater on Wednesday.
Saanich police bust ring allegedly selling vape products at Greater Victoria schools
More than $100,000 worth of vaping products have been seized by Saanich police detectives who say the items were being marketed and sold at schools throughout B.C.'s capital region.
Vancouver Island goalie makes impressive NHL debut
A Vancouver Island goalie has been the talk of professional hockey after posting one of the best debuts in NHL history.
Transportation Safety Board report on sinking cites lax federal rules on stability
A Transportation Safety Board of Canada report has linked the fatal sinking of a Nova Scotia scallop dragger in 2020 to years of federal inaction on the imposition of stricter stability standards for fishing vessels.
Class to resume Wednesday at Halifax-area high school two days after stabbings
Students at a Halifax-area school where two staff members were stabbed Monday are set to return to class Wednesday afternoon.
Weather statements issued in the Maritimes ahead of snow Thursday
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements in the Maritimes ahead of a spring mix of snow and rain arriving Thursday.
Family sues OPP, others, for more than $2M after woman dies in Sudbury, Ont., jail
The family of a woman who died by suicide in November 2020 while incarcerated at the Sudbury Jail is suing police and other officials for more than $2 million.
Northern Ont. police find driver unconscious at the wheel, motor running
Ontario Provincial Police responding to a different call March 17 discovered a driver slumped over the wheel in a running parked car on Main Street in the Town of Thessalon.
Ontario's summer forecast has been revealed. What to expect from June to September
The Farmers' Almanac has released its 2023 summer forecast, and, according to the long-range forecaster, Ontario could be in for some 'hot and soggy' summer months.
BREAKING | Ont.’s police watchdog investigating incident near Belwood Lake
Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating an incident near Belwood Lake, a few kilometres northeast of Fergus, Ont.
'I'm going to die': Officer recalls night Beau Baker fatally shot
Remembering the night he fatally shot Beau Baker outside a Kitchener apartment on Brybeck Crescent in April 2015, Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) Staff Sgt. Eric Boynton - who was a patrol officer at the time - testified he was worried about Baker killing himself or others.
Close call caught on video after driver runs stop sign in Guelph
Guelph police are looking for a driver who was captured on dash cam footage speeding through an intersection without braking at a stop sign.