N.S. to lower ambulance fees for low-income residents
Nova Scotia Health Minister Maureen MacDonald is seen at a news conference in Halifax on Thursday, March 1, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Published Monday, May 14, 2012 12:02PM ADT
The province of Nova Scotia is lowering ambulance fees for residents with low incomes.
Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald announced today that people who live in licensed long-term care facilities and those with reduced mobility will also be eligible for the lower fees, beginning July 1.
"Lower, fairer ambulance fees for seniors and low-income families was the right thing to do," said MacDonald.
She said the change is part of the government's Better Care Sooner plan.
The fee to transport nursing home and residential care facility residents to hospital will be reduced to $50, from $134.52.
"Many of our residents have limited income and continue to have pressure to stretch their resources," said Josie Ryan, corporate director, in care living, Northwood at the Harbour. "On occasion, residents have expressed financial concern when requiring transfer to hospital or medical appointments because of the associated costs of the ambulance. These new fees will help alleviate some of their worries at a time when they are feeling very vulnerable."
The fee for those unable to travel by conventional vehicle, and need an ambulance to get to medically necessary appointments, will be reduced to $100, from $168.14.
Nova Scotians who fall within a set income range will be able to submit financial details in order to waive ambulance fees altogether. This program will go into effect Sept. 1.
Most Nova Scotians with a valid health card pay $134.52 for emergency transport to a hospital.