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
W5 investigates | Priest, neighbours issue plea for help for struggling international students in Cape Breton
Cape Breton University has more than doubled in size by enrolling thousands of international students, and critics say the campus and community weren't ready. Watch the documentary 'Cash Cow' on CTV W5, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Afghan women cyclists who escaped the Taliban are chasing their dreams in Canada
After the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan and banned sports for female athletes, Afghan women cyclists are chasing their dreams in Canada.
Unable to leave Syria, mothers of Canadian children forfeit repatriation to keep their families together
In a choice forced upon them by the Canadian government, four mothers have made the agonizing decision to forfeit an opportunity to repatriate their children from open air prisons in northeast Syria.
Recent immigrants more likely to have confidence in Parliament, Canadian media: Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada has released its new report about the Canadians level of confidence in Canada’s institutions, finding that recent immigrants are more likely to express confidence in the media and parliament.
Federal minimum wage, taxes on alcohol: Here's what's changing in Canada April 1
The federal minimum wage is increasing from $15.55 per hour to $16.65, and taxes are going up on gas and alcohol nationwide starting April 1.
A glass of wine or beer per day is fine for your health: new study
A new Canadian study of 4.8 million people says a daily alcoholic drink isn't likely to send anyone to an early grave, nor will it offer any of the health benefits touted by previous studies, even if it is organic red wine.
MP Han Dong issues libel notice to Global News over China interference reporting
Lawyers representing Toronto MP Han Dong served Global News with a libel notice on Friday over reports that alleged he spoke to a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 about delaying the release of the two Michaels, and that he was a 'witting affiliate' of Chinese interference networks – allegations that Dong denies.
Here's what to expect from the Canadian cottage market this year
A recent report from Royal LePage is predicting a drop in prices for Canadian cabins and cottages this year as demand softens from economic uncertainty and low housing stock.
Interim RCMP commissioner would support Criminal Code changes for stricter gun laws
Interim RCMP commissioner Michael Duheme says he would support the Criminal Code changes recommended in the Mass Casualty Commission report to implement stricter gun laws.
Sask. government offers pay bump for family doctors who work later hours
In an attempt to take pressure off hospital emergency rooms, the Saskatchewan government will offer a bump in pay for family doctors who work later hours.
Saskatoon police want to know where security cameras are
Police in Saskatoon are hoping to create a list of homes and businesses that have security cameras.
'Learn to live with this': Humboldt focuses on future 5 years after bus crash
Kevin Garinger says it feels like the passage of time is inexplicable. The five years since a deadly bus crash changed his city, his hockey team and his life sometimes feel like a lifetime. Other times it feels like yesterday.
'Waking up to a really bad dream': Manitoba communities mourn four teenagers killed in crash
Multiple Manitoba communities are in mourning following the deaths of four teenagers in a car crash involving a semi-truck on Wednesday.
Zellers to open in Winnipeg next week
The wait is finally over for Winnipeggers who have been wanting to see Zellers make a return to the city.
'I don't feel right paying that money': Winnipeg man fighting phone bill exceeding $3,000
A Winnipeg parent is fighting to have his child's phone bill lowered after it was 10 times higher than normal.
Motorcyclist killed in Macleod Trail crash
Emergency crews say a motorcyclist has died in a crash on Macleod Trail and it's suspected that speed was a factor in the incident.
Dangerous suspect has 50 warrants for his arrest, Calgary police say
Calgary police are warning the public about a man wanted on 50 warrants, including firearm and assault charges.
Homicide investigation closes Highway 552 northeast of Okotoks, Alta.
RCMP blocked off a highway southeast of Calgary on Thursday night as part of an investigation, which officials now confirm is connected to a homicide.
Harm reduction group alleges excessive force by Edmonton police officers
A local harm reduction group says force used by Edmonton police officers during a recent arrest on Whyte Avenue on Sunday was "appalling."
Edmonton man latest victim in string of violent events on Edmonton public transit
Some Edmonton commuters say they're scared to use public transit amid increasing acts of violence at LRT stations and bus stops around the city.
Police investigating shooting in north Edmonton
The Edmonton Police Service is investigating after gunfire was exchanged near a north Edmonton strip mall.
Should cars be allowed in High Park? Public debate comes to a head
Cherry blossom season is right around the corner – but will you be able to drive inside the park to see the blooms?
Uninsured patients denied scheduled C-sections unless they pay $6,000, midwife says
In one day, Ontario midwife Manavi Handa saw three patients who will have to pay thousands of dollars to be able to schedule a C-section beginning on Sunday.
Ontario driver charged for driving too slow on Highway 401
An Ontario driver has been charged for driving too slow on Highway 401.
Akwesasne: Bodies of two more migrants found, bring total dead to eight
Police say the bodies of eight migrants have been retrieved from the waters off the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, straddling the Canada - U.S. border. The people whose bodies were recovered Thursday and Friday consisted of two families of Romanian and Indian origins who were likely trying to enter the U.S. illegally, police said Friday.
These are the top 10 intersections for red light camera tickets in Ottawa
King Edward Avenue is the red light district for Ottawa drivers, with three cameras on the busy road issuing thousands of tickets for running red lights last year.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | This Lanark County grocery store is reducing prices to fight food inflation
In the midst of record food inflation, one local grocery store in Lanark County is actually cutting prices.
Popular Othello Tunnels not expected to reopen this year
A major tourist attraction and historical landmark near Hope, B.C., remains closed more than 16 months after being damaged by floods.
Vancouver lawyer banned from financial markets for role in U.S. fraud
B.C.'s securities regulator has permanently banned a Vancouver lawyer from the financial markets after he was convicted in a U.S. court for his role in a US$34-million fraud.
No more paying for prescription birth control: B.C. to make Canadian history April 1
Paying for prescription birth control will be a thing of the past in British Columbia starting Saturday, marking a Canadian first.
Authorities work to identify 8 bodies pulled from St. Lawrence River this week
Akwesasne Mohawk Police say they are working with Immigration Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to confirm the identities of the eight migrants whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River this week.
Father of Old Montreal fire victim launches $22M lawsuit
A father of one of the seven victims of the deadly Old Montreal fire is suing Airbnb and the owner of the building that burned down for $22 million.
April 1: New parking rules in Montreal as spring street cleaning begins
Montreal's seasonal parking restrictions go into effect Saturday. As of April 1, parking will be limited during certain hours to make way for street cleaning and maintenance operations. Drivers should pay close attention to street signs to determine when and where it's safe to park.
Video shows rare coastal wolf swimming in B.C. waters
A Vancouver Island woman managed to capture something on video last Sunday that experts say is extremely rare. Maxine Gillette calls it a once in a lifetime experience.
B.C. musician and former pastor sentenced for sexual assault
A Vancouver Island musician and former church pastor will serve three months of house arrest, followed by 18 months of probation, after he was convicted of one count of sexual assault.
B.C. residents to pay more for hydro starting April 1
British Columbia residents will pay an average of $2 more per month for hydro power starting Saturday.
'Impervious to change': doubt, disappointment after initial RCMP response to inquiry recommendations
After the RCMP commissioner admitted he didn't read the Mass Casualty Commission’s final recommendations, family members of those killed in the April 2020 tragedy say they have doubts the force will change.
N.S. doctor denies alleged negligence in case of woman who died after long ER wait
A doctor named in a lawsuit after a Nova Scotia woman died in hospital following a long wait to see a physician has denied allegations from the family that he failed in his duties.
'Nova Scotians' sense of safety was rocked': RCMP failures dominate inquiry's final report into 2020 mass shooting
A long list of failures by Nova Scotia RCMP leadership and policing systems dominate the final report into Nova Scotia's April 2020 mass shooting.
Northern Ont. man receives lifetime hunting ban, fined $5,000 for grouse stash
A northern Ontario man has been banned from licenced hunting and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to having more than six times the legal limit of grouse and obstructing conservation officers.
‘Nobody wants this’: Opposition grows to renaming Chippewa Secondary School
The plan to rename a North Bay high school is receiving tons of backlash online and has sparked outrage from some school alumni and the community.
Six arrested, 2.7 kilos cocaine seized in massive drug bust in Sudbury, GTA
Ontario's guns and gangs team says with the help of police in Sudbury and Durham, it has disrupted a large drug trafficking operation, seizing 2.7 kilograms of cocaine and arresting six.
Family of Beau Baker 'deeply concerned' after inquest jury rules his death a suicide
The inquest jury found that Beau Baker, 20, died by suicide with the cause of death being a gunshot wound in the torso.
Packing up Portraits of Honour: Cambridge memorial on the move
A Cambridge memorial that pays tribute to Canada’s fallen soldiers is on the move.