News Release Archive

Health Minister Bernie Boudreau welcomed today's announcement by
Maritime Medical Care that it intends to buy a majority of
ambulance operations in Nova Scotia.

"This will mean better service for Nova Scotians and better
working conditions for the men and women who provide life-saving
care in emergency situations at the roadside, the workplace and
in the home," Mr. Boudreau said.

Maritime Medical Care Inc., a Nova Scotia company, has also
reached an agreement with the government to take over its role in
administrating contracts related to a central dispatch for
ambulance operations, acquiring new vehicles and group purchasing
of ambulance supplies.

The new service under Maritime Medical Care Inc. is consistent
with the goals of the Department of Health for a high-performance
ambulance system. It will include a central dispatch for
co-ordinating ambulances across the province, better training for
emergency medical technicians and more life-saving equipment.

"I have received assurances from Maritime Medical Care that a top
priority of the company will be to address problems in some
regions related to wages and hours of work and working conditions
for the ambulance workers," said Mr. Boudreau.

It has been the intention of the Department of Health to move
toward consolidation of ambulance operations since a 1994
examination of the state of the province's emergency health care
system. Existing operators have the option to continue providing
emergency health care to their communities.

Ambulance operations are private businesses in Nova Scotia.
However, the Department of Health will continue to subsidize
ambulance operations and will have an important role in setting
and monitoring standards of care to ensure emergency health care
is consistent across the province.


Contact: Lori MacLean
         Department of Health

trp                Apr. 29, 1997 - 12:30 p.m.