Canadian Visitors To Ontario Province Could Again Face Steep Air Ambulance Bills

by Richard D'Ambrosio


Out-of-province patients will once again be billed for medical evacuations in Ontario at the direction of the provincial government.

At the beginning of this year, Ornge Air Ambulance, which provides air ambulance and ground transportation service for Ontario province, under the direction of the province's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, decided to stop billing out-of-province patients for emergency airlifts, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

On May 8, however, Ontario’s Health Minister Eric Hoskins, said Ornge Air Ambulance should return to billing patients directly, though he added each case will be looked at separately.

This issue became more prominent after a summer 2015 incident that was covered widely in the Canadian press. In that instance, an Alberta woman went into premature labor while visiting Ontario on vacation with her family. When she was told the hospital in Timmins, Ont., was not equipped to help her, she faced either a four-hour drive or could be transported by air ambulance emergency to another hospital.

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