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Manitoba Government Announces Major Investment in Emergency Medical Services

The Manitoba government is set to significantly enhance emergency medical services across the province, according to an announcement made today by Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara. The plan includes the addition of more paramedics and ambulances, as well as the expansion of emergency patient transport.

“Our government is investing in paramedicine, so that Manitobans can feel secure knowing first responders will be there to assist in emergencies,” said Asagwara. “We are also making sure timely emergency care is available to all Manitobans no matter where they live.”

As part of the initiative, the province will provide an additional $124,000 to Red River College Polytechnic in 2024-25 to add 16 training seats for advanced care paramedics (ACPs) who will work in rural and northern communities. The Manitoba government is also investing more than $16 million to expand job opportunities for ACPs, including the addition of a third ambulance in Brandon. These investments will support the province’s goal of hiring 1,000 new health-care workers in 2024-25.

Rebecca Clifton, director of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba, praised the move, stating, “Advanced care paramedics are a huge asset to rural health care. With a deeper education and greater skill set, they can provide more acute care for patients, making them vital in critical transports or emergency rooms in remote, rural settings.”

The budget investments will also allow for the implementation of community paramedicine units across eastern, western and northern parts of Manitoba. Since January 2024, 21 clinical service leaders have been hired in Dauphin, Flin Flon, Lac du Bonnet, Ashern, Neepawa and The Pas, with more staff currently being recruited.

In recognition of the vital role paramedics play in the health-care system, the Manitoba government has proclaimed May 19 to 25 as Paramedic Week in Manitoba. “Paramedics have saved the lives of countless Manitobans and helped put them on a path to recovery. Next week our government will recognize paramedics as the backbone of our emergency health services. It is our opportunity to thank them for the work they do to go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Asagwara.

The week will also serve as an opportunity to recognize all members of Manitoba’s emergency response services teams, including 911 dispatchers, volunteer first responders and patient transport professionals.

© 2024 News4.ca

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