Make Paramedics in Ontario Essential

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As of right now, emergency medical services in Ontario - paramedics and ambulances are not seen as essential in the eyes of the government.

You are probably thinking - well that can’t possibly be the correct information. Well it is!

There are 9300 paramedics in Ontario - these brave men and women attend to 1.75 million patients every year and yet the government refuses to give these heroes 100% essential service status even amid a global pandemic. The legislation that dictates this is 19 years old and does not match the current climate of paramedicine or the needs of Ontarians.

The legislation needs to be changed immediately and paramedics need to be added to Ontario’s list of essential services.

This important change would better serve the 1.75 million Ontarians who rely on paramedics for a wide range of life-saving medical care each year.

Not only do paramedics attend to emergent 911 calls but they also attend to non-emergent patients who are served by community paramedics who work to keep patients safely in their homes, along with COVID-19 community assessment teams who are helping to ease the burden of public health by testing patients who are physically unable or are too sick to travel to COVID-19 test centers to be swabbed and tested.

Paramedics have played a crucial role in healthcare before the COVID-19 pandemic – working on the frontlines serving their communities in a multitude of ways and will continue to do so - both during and long after this pandemic is over.

At the same time, they have been fighting to be recognized by the government.

First being left off the essential service classification on March 17, then being called “ambulance drivers’’ by the chief medical officer of Ontario on March 19 and lastly being excluded from the list of essential health care workers whom qualify for the “pandemic pay bump” on April 25.

It is unfair that while fighting the raging battle against COVID-19 in their communities that paramedics have also had to fight the government for the simple and obvious recognition for the role in which they proudly play in our healthcare system.

I implore you, if you feel this is an injustice to these brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of their community - then please take a moment to sign and share this petition.

Help paramedics show the government that they are worth having 100% essential service status.

Now more than ever Ontarians need to support these healthcare heroes, who so often are merely an afterthought in the government’s eyes.


*Update: The "pandemic pay bump" will now be amended to include paramedics, which is a step in the right direction...BUT paramedics still need to be given essential status by the government of Ontario*