Abolish Nova Scotia's Ambulance Fees

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Why should you have to pay a $146.55 ambulance fee to access healthcare when you need it most? This is the steep fee that faces Nova Scotians every time they need an ambulance.
 
Most countries which have universal health care also provide free ambulance service. However, Canada is an outlier in this respect because ambulance services aren’t mandated to be provided free of charge by the Canada Health Act. The result is ambulance fees varying from $0 in Yukon to $250 in Manitoba. Nova Scotia costs $146.55 per ride.
 
This can become very expensive very quickly for those with underlying medical conditions. As reported by The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), one disabled Nova Scotian had to crawl for 8 hours to call 911 only to be charged a $711.60 fee.
 
As Nova Scotians, we all pay taxes to our government and we follow the laws set out by our provincial government. In return, we should expect the government to provide services to help Nova Scotians have a good quality of life. Ambulance services are a part of this duty.
 
According to CBC News, 23% of Maritimers hesitate to call an ambulance because of the cost associated with it. That statistic is horrifying because many people need immediate medical assistance and by driving to the hospital, they could be placing themselves at risk. There are also people who don’t have another way to the hospital and decide to forgo a hospital visit. Often these people regret that decision later when more serious health problems arise.
 
The Nova Scotian Government does provide payment plans and bursaries to help those who may not be able to afford the ambulance fees. However, there are several key problems with this.
 
Firstly, if someone uses a repayment plan, the bill may be spread out over a longer period of time, but the bill still has to paid. For someone who doesn’t have large amounts of spare money, unexpected expenses such as an ambulance bill can still be detrimental to their financial state.
 
Partial or full ambulance fee bursaries also require a ‘Notice of Assessment’ document. This document is acquired through filing income tax with the Canadian Revenue Agency. However, many people who are homeless or unemployed don’t have a ‘Notice of Assessment’ and therefore find it much harder (to impossible) to file for a bursary.
 
I urge you to sign this petition to demand the Nova Scotian government provide an essential service many Nova Scotians will need at one point!
 
(For more information feel free to visit my website: endambulancefees.com)