CUPE Saskatchewan is calling for a publicly-funded ground EMS system.
The union is raising the suggestion as the province undertakes a system review of ground emergency medical services in Saskatchewan.
Sandra Seitz is the President of CUPE’s Health Care Council.
She says target response times for rural areas are 30 minutes, which she blames on a poorly coordinated system.
“There is approximately 104 private EMS services across Saskatchewan,” Seitz said. “As well as some that are under the regional health authorities. So there is a very poor coordination in the province with their system as a whole.”
Seitz says a publicly funded system would also help retention, as some private companies in five health regions are paying workers 5 dollars an hour on standby, which is less than half of minimum wage.