Accessing ambulance services in Prince Edward Island
Ground ambulance services (emergency and non-urgent) are provided by Island EMS across the province 24/7/365.
Dial 9-1-1 to request an ambulance in an emergency.
Dial 1-877-660-6644 to book an ambulance for non-urgent transport. Privately booked transport is billed to the patient.
Emergency air ambulance service is provided, mainly by EHS LifeFlight to patients who are critically ill and require immediate care at an out-of-province specialty hospital. Services are arranged by physician referral from PEI hospitals.
FAQs about Paramedic and Ambulance Services provides answers to the most common questions received about ground and air ambulance services, including whether to expect a fee in certain circumstances.
Fees for PEI residents and visitors
Ambulance fees are not a publicly insured service under the Canada Health Act and each province or territory sets its own fee schedule for ambulance use.
The cost of ambulance services is subsidized by the Government of Prince Edward Island. When a patient receives a bill from Island EMS, the fee does not reflect the true cost of the service.
Ambulance Service Rates in PEI for Island Residents and Visitors provides specific information about the fees residents and non-residents can expect in different circumstances.
Ground ambulance fees
In most cases, when 9-1-1 is called and a patient is transported, the patient will receive a bill.
Patients with a valid PEI Health Card will be billed at resident rates and patients without a valid PEI Health Card will be billed at non-resident rates.
Island EMS ground ambulance fees can be paid online, by mail or in person. For more information, visit the Island EMS website.
Air ambulance fees
Emergency air ambulance fees, resulting from a patient being sent from a PEI hospital for specialized care out-of-province, are fully covered for PEI residents who have a valid PEI Health Card at the time of transport. Non-residents will be billed.
Importance of private medical insurance when traveling
PEI residents who travel out-of-province or country are strongly encouraged to carry private insurance that includes ground and air ambulance fee coverage. The Government of PEI does not pay for ambulance fees incurred by Island residents while traveling outside of PEI.
Non-PEI residents who are visiting, temporarily working, studying, or otherwise do not have a valid PEI Health Card are also encouraged to have private insurance coverage that includes ground and air ambulance services. The Government of PEI is not responsible for fees billed by Island EMS to patients who do not have a valid PEI Health Card.
Appealing ground ambulance fees
Reasons for appeal
PEI residents with a valid PEI Health Card at the time of transport can appeal if they receive an Island EMS invoice and:
- Think it was issued by mistake;
- Believe they were misinformed about potential fees;
- Wish to appeal on compassionate grounds; or
- Are concerned they cannot pay.
Appeals made based on financial hardship will generally only be considered if the bill compromises the patient’s ability to pay for necessities like housing, food or prescriptions. Most patients will be advised to contact Island EMS about a no-interest payment plan.
Non-PEI residents (no PEI Health Card) who receive an Island EMS bill can appeal if they:
- Believe they were misinformed about potential fees.
Otherwise, non-residents must contact their private insurance or the appropriate office with their provincial/territorial government to see if assistance is available.
Process and timelines
- Contact Island EMS Billing (1-888-420-1122) within 30 days of the original invoice date to discuss your concerns. They will investigate whether a billing error occurred and, if not, can offer a reasonable no-interest payment plan if finances are of concern.
They will communicate their decision to you, in writing, within 30 days of receiving your concerns and will copy Emergency Health Services (EHS), Department of Health and Wellness, on their response.
- Patients who still have concerns after receiving a response from Island EMS may appeal to EHS within 90 days of the date on the original bill. Complete the Ambulance Services Fee Review Form and submit to EHS using the contact information included in the form. (email or mailing address)
The Director of EHS will investigate, based on the information provided in the review form, and issue a written decision to the patient and to Island EMS which will be considered final.
Appealing emergency air ambulance fees
In general, residents with a valid PEI Health Card will not receive bills resulting from emergency air ambulance services arranged by a PEI hospital. If a resident receives a bill and has concerns, they should contact EHS directly.
For more information, or to request a paper copy of the Ambulance Services Fee Review Form, contact:
Emergency Health Services
16 Fitzroy Street
3rd Floor Sullivan Building
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8