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Ambulance fees for Saskatchewan seniors cut in half

The Government of Saskatchewan is reducing ambulance fees from $275 per trip to $135 per trip for seniors in the province, in an announcement made on Wednesday. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan government said it is reducing ambulance fees to help make things more affordable for seniors.

The province is lowering fees from $275 per trip to $135 per trip, in an announcement made on Wednesday.

As of Dec. 14, there will be no more costs for seniors in the province when it comes to transfers between health-care facilities, including hospitals, health centres, mental health and addiction centres, or special care homes.

Read more: Mental health concerns rise for seniors as Saskatchewan tightens restrictions in care homes

Seniors will receive full coverage for the transfers through the Senior Citizens’ Ambulance Assistance Program (SCAAP).

“Our government is living up to its promise to provide Saskatchewan’s seniors with quality, affordable health care,” Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said in a statement.

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“The investments we make now will help to address the future needs of our province’s growing senior population, while demonstrating our commitment to those who helped build our great province.”

To be eligible for SCAAP coverage, patients must be 65 years of age or over and have a Saskatchewan health card.

Read more: Coronavirus: Isolation taking a toll on mental health of Sask. seniors, some experts say

They also can’t be insured by any other government service such as Health Canada, Workers Compensation (WCB) or Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).

“Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism welcomes the changes to how ambulance charges will be applied in Saskatchewan,” said Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism president Randy Dove.

“Our member organizations have been asking for this change as older adults’ usage of ambulance services tends to be higher than other segments of the population.”

The elimination of inter-facility transfer costs is something Dove said will be financially helpful to older adults in both urban and rural locations.

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