The Cost of an Ambulance Call

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Paramedics at hospital entrance

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There has been some discussion in the news recently regarding the costs associated with calling an ambulance in regions across Canada. In Ontario, the costs are mandated by the provincial government.

Service isn’t free, but the majority of your ambulance bill is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (O.H.I.P.) for residents of this province. When transported in a licensed ambulance, Ontario residents receive a bill only for that portion of the bill that is not covered by your health insurance.

This fee is normally $45.00, though O.H.I.P. insures ambulance transportation only for those trips that are medically essential. The hospital to which you were transported makes the determination as to whether your ambulance trip was medically necessary. If the doctor decides that you could have made your way to hospital by another means, you will be billed for the full amount of the ambulance bill ($240). This is necessary in order to ensure that the system is not abused, and that the service is available to those who really need it.

More information on billing can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions page under the “Billing for Ambulance Transport” section.

As always, we remind you that you should call 911 in an emergency. Other health care options are a better choice for situations that are not medical emergencies:

  1. Telehealth Ontario, 1-866-797-0000 is a free, confidential telephone service residents can call to get health advice or general health information from a registered nurse. If a resident is coming down with the flu, this may be a good option to get quick advice on how to manage the illness.
  2. A family physician is another good option, and if residents do not currently have a family physician, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care helps residents find a doctor through the Ministry’s Health Care Connect Program.
  3. A walk-in clinic near a resident’s home can be found by simply keying in a postal code on this link. This can be a good option when a family member has a cut or sprain or other minor ailment, and would like it seen by a medical professional.