Funding is provided to the four Regional Health Authorities for the delivery of the provincial road and air ambulance program in the province. For more information on these programs, click below:
Individuals seeking employment in the ambulance industry can view Training and Registration of Ambulance Personnel:
The road ambulance program is a critical component of the health care system and is often the first point of contact for individuals in an emergency situation. These road ambulance providers deliver pre-hospital medical services to the public. While the primary mandate of ambulances is to respond to patients in emergency situations, it is also used for the conveyance of routine patients requiring medical attention or under medical care who are unable to be transported by alternate means. Ambulances are staffed with trained personnel capable of responding to emergency calls and providing pre-hospital care while transporting the patient to the most appropriate medical facility for more assessment and treatment.
The Department of Health and Community Services is responsible for policies, procedures, standards and negotiations with the private and community operators. The four Regional Health Authorities are responsible for the day-to-day operational issues related to the road ambulance program.
Currently there is 911 coverage restricted to the St. John's metropolitan area, the Corner Brook region and Labrador City. In other areas of the province, the local ambulance service must be contacted directly for emergency response. A listing of the emergency contact information for all ambulance bases within the province is available:
The majority of the cost associated with a road ambulance trip is subsidized in this province. However, provincial residents with active coverage under the Medical Care Plan (MCP) who require a response by a road ambulance within this province must pay a patient fee of $115. Please note patient fees are for ambulance service and not necessarily for patient transport. If a patient requires medical assistance by road ambulance personnel then refuses transportation or is deemed not to require road ambulance transport by medical authorities, the $115 patient fee is still charged. Some individuals in receipt of Income Support may have their patient fee paid through the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
As of June 1, 2011 an in-patient at a medical facility who is transported to another medical facility for a higher level of care will no longer be charged a $115 patient fee for each transport by road ambulance. The ambulance operator will now invoice the local Regional Health Authority who in return will invoice the Department of Health and Community Services.
As of June 1, 2011 an in-patient at a medical facility who is transported to another medical facility for a higher level of care will no longer be charged a $50 medical escort fee, if a medical escort is required.
The provincial air ambulance program performs medical evacuations, known as medevacs, to individuals requiring emergency care as well as non-emergency patients when a road ambulance or commercial flight is unsuitable due to a patient's condition, duration and distance of patient transport and geographic location. Patient transports normally take place within the province, however, out-of province patient transports may occur if the required medical services are not available in this province and the patient is unable to travel by commercial flight.
An emergency air ambulance program has been in place in this province since the early 1950's. At that time single engine floatplanes were used to transport emergency patients to the appropriate medical facility. Today, there are two King Air 350s which provide dedicated air ambulance service to the entire province and are located in St. John's and Happy Valley Goose Bay. A Twin Otter is also located in Happy Valley Goose-Bay but mainly services the Labrador region. If these aircrafts are unable to provide air ambulance transport, charter aircrafts are utilized. In addition to the fixed-wing aircrafts noted above, five helicopters which are on contract with the province are used to perform a number of trips, including medevacs from remote areas which cannot be reached with a fixed-wing aircraft. These helicopters are located in the Gander, St. Alban's, St. John's, Pasadena and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Private charter services are also used when provincial aircrafts are not available.
The referring medical facility requests an air ambulance to transport a patient between medical facilities. The Air Ambulance Coordinator located at the Medical Communication Centre in St. John's screens the request to ensure that the patient's needs meet the air ambulance criteria.
Requests to transport patients by air ambulance transport from a remote location in the province can be made directly to the Air Ambulance Coordinator by calling (709) 777-6320. On occasion, this request will be channel through agencies such as the police or the local ambulance service.
The majority of the cost associated with an air ambulance transport is subsidized in this province. However, patients with active coverage under the Medical Care Plan (MCP) that are transported by air ambulance must pay a user fee of $130. This user fee includes an $80 administration fee and a $50 medical escort fee. The patient fee associated with the use of a road ambulance to and from the air ambulance is covered by the Department of Health and Community Service.
Non-residents are charged on a cost recovery basis for an air ambulance transport, including the costs associated with aircraft, medical escorts (e.g. salary, meals, accommodations, etc) and the road ambulance to and from the air ambulance.
Provincial Residents Temporarily Outside of the Province
If a provincial resident requires an air ambulance due to illness or injury while outside the province, the provincial resident will be charged for the transport at a rate established by the jurisdiction in which the transport occurred.
Prior to September 2006, the provincial training program for Paramedicine was offered by Eastern Health. This training is now being offered through the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) at its St. John’s and Stephenville campuses. For more information on training opportunities at CNA, contact the Student Services Division:
Training as an Emergency Medical Responder Level II is also available from St. John Ambulance and Red Cross.
All ambulance personnel working in this province must be registered with the Quality and Learning Department of Eastern Health. For questions regarding the registration process, you can contact the registration office:
The mailing address for the Quality and Learning Coordinators is:
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader software can be used for viewing PDF documents. Download Acrobat® Reader for free