No more free ambulance rides for seniors

No more free ambulance rides for seniors

Quebec City (Quebec) 27 November 2014 – With all the talk of budget cuts and spending restraints that the province is going through these days it has just been announced by a separate committee that the gratuity that seniors enjoy when calling an ambulance may also be coming to an end.

Up until now, seniors in the province can call an ambulance when needed and the cost is completely absorbed by the state as long as the service is deemed necessary. Someone calling an ambulance for an unnecessary reason like a sprained ankle or something minor is automatically charged because the incident didn’t require the services of any medical technician.

Under the new rules a certain charge would be billed for the use of the ambulance services to anyone over the age of 65, just like those who are under 65.

The present cost to an individual using an ambulance is $125 plus $1.75 a kilometre.

Besides charging seniors, the committee also wants to raise those tariffs to $174 a ride and $2.95 a km. There is no figure on the table but, the charge presented to seniors would be a minor one and not as significant as the regular billing.

Quebec is one of the last provinces to not charge seniors for its ambulance services. The government calculates that because seniors are becoming a major part of the population, it is going to cost more for the state in the coming years if some kind of usage fee is not charged.

Another option being considered is to perhaps keep the vehicles for a longer period of time rather than the seven year / 200,000km renewal strategy presently in place.

Needless to say, if you’re over 65 and you get hurt or have a heart attack you may want to consider taking a taxi to the hospital, depending on what the new charge is going to be.

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