BRANDON - The Provincial Government announced the funding for 60 new, full-time paramedic positions at various locations around Manitoba.
“The investment in 60 new full-time paramedic positions will ensure highly skilled professionals are available for emergency dispatch and response at all times of the day, any day of the week, reducing the reliance on on-call staff,” said Minster Goertzen in a release. “Paramedics are a critical part of our health-care system, and the new positions are another step in our government’s commitment to ensuring Manitobans have access to consistent, reliable health care in their community.”
First announced in this year’s budget, the 60 new full-time equivalent (FTE) positions will reduce EMS reliance on on-call staffing positions by hiring full-time positions instead. Some positions will be filled by staff currently working in the system on an on-call basis. Other positions are expected to be posted shortly, with paramedics hired to fill the vacancies and be on the roads later this year, the minister said.
“Paramedics provide a high level of medical care from the moment they reach the patient,” said Helen Clark, chief operating officer of emergency medical services with Shared Health. “Professionally trained paramedics today are able to perform many life-saving activities and patients in medical emergencies are encouraged to call 911 to receive the care they need. Adding full-time positions ensures a rapid, effective response to emergency calls in rural areas.”
The new positions will be strategically spread out across Prairie Mountain Health, Southern Health-Santé Sud and Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, ensuring staff are well-positioned to respond to calls throughout their respective regions, the minister noted. The new hires represent a $2.4-million investment for the final two quarters of this year, increasing to $5 million next year, he added.
The additional positions will be located at EMS stations in the following communities:
Dauphin – 9.7 FTE (converting from on-call);
Gilbert Plains – 4.85 FTE (new positions);
Killarney – 4.85 FTE (converting from on-call);
Gimli – 4.85 FTE (converting from on-call);
Boundary Trails – 4.85 FTE (converting some on-call, as well as new);
Virden – 4.85 FTE (converting some from on-call, as well as new);
West St. Paul – 9.7 FTE (new positions);
Altona – 4.85 FTE (converting from on-call); and
Teulon – 4.85 FTE (converting from on-call).
An additional 6.65 FTE within the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority will also be hired to support flexible deployment across the region, as well as provide sick leave or vacation coverage for crews
WITH FILES FROM GOVERNMENT OF MANITOBA