Ontario looks at merging ambulance services; Ford says service will not go down

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TORONTO — Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government says it is looking at merging ambulance services.

In its budget delivered last week, the government says it plans to streamline the way land ambulance dispatch services are delivered by integrating the 59 emergency health services operators and 22 dispatch centres.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says it’s about providing quality care and making sure everyone is connected.

Her spokeswoman says the government is working with municipalities and health-care partners, so it is too early to say how many ambulance services the province will end up with.

Premier Doug Ford said today that whatever happens, the service will not go down and he guaranteed that Ontario will retain the same number of paramedics.

He says nothing is set in stone, but he wants to look for ways to increase service while saving taxpayers money.

The Canadian Press

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