New EMS Station Planned for Cowan

Submitted by:
Rick Wowchuk, MLA for the
Constituency of Swan River

Manitobans deserve predictable and reliable ambulance service, no matter where they live across our province. Our government is developing a much more integrated, responsive, reliable and sustainable emergency medical services (EMS) system in rural Manitoba. And our investment in this system is bringing benefits to the Swan River constituency in the form of additional paramedic positions and a new EMS station.

Recently, Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced the creation of Shared Health Services Manitoba, an entity tasked with better planning and distribution of health-care resources so that Manitobans have access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place. One of the responsibilities of Shared Health Services Manitoba will be the management of the EMS system.

Our government is developing a truly provincial EMS system with round-the-clock staffing and reliable ambulance service whose roots lie in a 2013 report commissioned by the previous government. However, unlike the NDP, which didn’t act on the recommendations of the report it had commissioned, our government is acting on the expert advice in order to better care for Manitobans.

We plan to build five new rural EMS stations to provide strategic coverage for Manitobans and to improve response times. We’re also moving toward staffing rural EMS stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week with regular positions, nearly eliminating the need for standby and call-back staffing that has been heavily relied upon for the past decade.

The Prairie Mountain Health Region will receive funding from our government for several EMS staff positions in Waterhen. As well, a new EMS station is planned for Cowan.

Our investment will provide residents of the Swan River region, and other rural Manitobans, with much more comprehensive pre-hospital patient care by highly skilled full-time paramedics, as well as an inter-facility transport system that is integrated, reliable and sustainable.