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The Province is purchasing 65 new ambulances to modernize its fleet.

Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen made the announcement Monday. "Every day, paramedics take life-saving care directly to hundreds of patients, responding to 911 calls as well as transporting patients to and between hospitals and other care facilities," Friesen says. "This significant investment will ensure our paramedics continue to have the right equipment to support the excellent care they provide to Manitobans."

Friesen notes the investment builds upon the work underway to implement recommendations of the 2013 EMS System Review, including a $5 million annual investment in 60 full-time paramedic positions throughout rural Manitoba, to reduce Manitoba’s reliance on on-call staffing. He adds these new full-time positions, 35 of which have been filled, will ensure ambulances are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Recommendations of the 2013 EMS System Review, which included significant consultation with front-line care providers, are guiding our investments," Friesen says. "Our approach is focused on implementing changes gradually. This includes the creation of a consistent, integrated EMS and patient transport model as part of Manitoba's broader health system transformation. These efforts will first build capacity, equip staff and invest in skilled professionals across the province."

Once the tender is awarded, the successful vendor will begin building. It is anticipated that the new ambulances will be delivered and placed in all five health regions later this year.

Estimated costs are not being released at this time to ensure the tendering process is not affected.

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