Ontario Strengthening Patient Safety
McGuinty Government To Regulate Non-Emergency Medical Transfer Services
Ontario is taking action to improve Ontarians' safety by proposing to set quality and safety standards for non-emergency medical transfer services.
The government has reviewed findings and recommendations from the Ombudsman on this issue. The government agrees with the Ombudsman that the industry requires effective and comprehensive regulation, as soon as possible.
At the earliest opportunity, the government plans to introduce legislation that would, if passed, regulate the industry by setting core standards and requirements on transporting passengers between health care facilities in non-emergency situations. Ontario would also enforce compliance standards to ensure these requirements are being met.
The proposed legislation will be introduced following consultations with the medical transportation services industry, health care providers and the public.
Today's announcement is part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.
- The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will develop the proposed legislation in consultation with the Ministry of Transportation, and if it is passed, will be responsible for oversight of the regulatory regime.
- It is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 to 500,000 non-emergency medical transfers a year in Ontario.
- Currently, non-emergency transportation vehicles often look much like ambulances. Medical transportation service is currently defined in the Highway Traffic Act as a service that is designated by the Minister of Transportation and that offers transportation to the public, primarily for medical purposes, within, to or from a municipality, but is not an ambulance.
“Our government is taking steps to ensure the safety of passengers being transferred in non-emergency situations. We know this action will make a difference for the patients who rely on these services. I would like to thank the Ombudsman for his crucial input into this important issue.”
“Our government is committed to the safety of all drivers and passengers, including passengers being transferred during non-emergency situations.”