The province will convert up to 25 part-time rural paramedic positions to full-time by next spring at a cost of $650,000 and beef up training for rural emergency medical services (EMS) outside Winnipeg.
Health Minister Erin Selby said today the moves will speed up ambulance response times and improve the quality of service in rural Manitoba.
The conversion of part-time EMS staff to full-time will occur by next spring, she said. The province will consult with regional health authorities to determine where the new full-time positions should be located.
Selby also announced that a new advanced-care paramedic program will be launched at Red River College in September of next year. The two-year program will take in 16 students per year and be offered by distance education coupled with in-person laboratory and practical experience.
Rural paramedics are expected to take advantage of the new education program to bolster their training.
Meanwhile, Selby said work is underway to consolidate oversight for all the province’s paramedics with the Office of the Medical Director for emergency services. This will lead to standardized protocols and services across Manitoba.