WINNIPEG – A motion to be tabled at this morning’s Executive Policy Committee will direct the Public Service to seek full cost recovery from Shared Health Services as part of negotiating a new service delivery contract for emergency medical services in Winnipeg, Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.

“Health services are a provincial government responsibility and this includes emergency medical services,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Delivering a provincial service should not come at the expense of Winnipeg property taxpayers. It’s important that as a contractor delivering these services on the province’s behalf that it be done so at a level that is cost neutral to the City of Winnipeg.”

The province of Manitoba, through Shared Health Services, is responsible for providing health services to the residents of Winnipeg. This includes emergency medical services, inter-facility medical transportation, and community paramedicine services.

The City of Winnipeg has been delivering emergency medical, inter-facility transport, and community paramedicine services on behalf of the province of Manitoba as a service delivery provider under contract with Shared Health.

This contract formally expired March 31, 2016, but was extended until April 2017 under joint agreement by both parties. Despite efforts to negotiate and formalize a new agreement, a new agreement has not been reached.

In November 2017, in the absence of a new agreement and without a further extension of the existing agreement, Shared Health Services unilaterally froze service payments to the City of Winnipeg at 2016 levels for 2017 and 2018, but expected that service levels not be decreased. This created an immediate funding shortfall for the City of Winnipeg which the City of Winnipeg and Shared Health Services have subsequently worked together to eliminate.

“We are certainly willing to deliver whatever level of emergency medical service the province deems necessary in Winnipeg,” said Mayor Bowman. “But, subsidizing the cost of delivering a provincial health service through property taxes poses too significant of a threat to prosperity for Winnipeg residents who are already facing increases in automobile insurance rates as well as multiple increases in electricity rates.”

“Moving forward, and as part of any new service delivery contract, we need to confirm the City of Winnipeg’s contractor relationship with Shared Health Services, and clearly establish what level of emergency medical service the province of Manitoba feels is required in Winnipeg and what they’re willing to pay for that level of service,” said Mayor Bowman.