Saskatchewan Party Will Reduce Ambulance Costs For Seniors, Increase Seniors Income Plan and Hire 300 New Continuing Care AidesOctober 08, 2020
Premier Scott Moe today announced three measures designed to make life more affordable and provide additional care for Saskatchewan seniors. If re-elected, the Saskatchewan Party will significantly reduce the cost of ambulance calls for seniors, increase the monthly benefit provided under the Seniors Income Plan and hire 300 new continuing care aides.
Moe said a Saskatchewan Party government will eliminate charges for inter-hospital ambulance calls for seniors and reduce the maximum cost of other senior’s ambulance calls by over 50 per cent – from a maximum of $275 per call to $135 per call. There are approximately 50,000 senior’s ambulance calls in Saskatchewan each year.
"We understand that ambulance costs can be difficult for Saskatchewan seniors," Moe said. "That’s why we are cutting ambulance charges in half and eliminating them altogether for ambulance transfers from one hospital to another."
The Seniors Income Plan provides a monthly benefit of up to $270 per month to low income seniors. Over the next four years, the Saskatchewan Party will increase the maximum amount of this benefit to $360 per month. About 14,000 Saskatchewan seniors receive the Seniors Income Plan benefit each month together with the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit.
"When the Saskatchewan Party was first elected in 2007, the Seniors Income Plan benefit was just $90 a month and hadn’t been increased one dime in 16 years under the NDP," Moe said. "Since then, our government has tripled it to $270 a month and by the end of our next term, we will have quadrupled it to $360 a month."
A re-elected Saskatchewan Party government will also improve care for seniors living in long-term care facilities as well as those living in their own homes by hiring 300 more continuing care aides.
180 new continuing care aides will be hired to work in long-term care facilities, which is equivalent to one additional aide for every 50 residents. 120 new continuing aides will be added to provide home care services throughout the province.
The reduction in senior’s ambulance costs will come into effect in December of this year and will cost $8.4 million per year. The Seniors Income Plan increase will be phased in over three years beginning in 2021 and will cost $9 million per year when fully implemented. The new continuing care positions will be added following the 2021-22 budget and will cost $18.4 million per year.
"Making life more affordable and providing more support for Saskatchewan seniors is part of our plan for a strong Saskatchewan" Moe said.
Backgrounder: Adding 300 More Continuing Care Aides to Support Home Care and Long-Term Care Services for Saskatchewan Seniors