Paramedic and Ambulance Services Frequently Asked Questions
Are paramedics and ambulance services regulated in PEI?
Why can there be a wait to be visited by paramedics?
When 911 calls are received, Communications Officers use the Medical Dispatch Priority System to prioritize calls based on clinical urgency. Available paramedic crews are dispatched to the most urgent of calls first. Crews may also be redirected while enroute to a less urgent call if a serious emergency call is received.
If a patient’s clinical condition worsens while waiting for paramedics to arrive, it is advised you call 9-1-1 again to inform them. Learn about Ambulance Response Times.
Ambulance Bills and Fees
Will I receive a bill if paramedics visit me but I do not go to the hospital?
No. Bills are only issued if transport occurs.
Will I receive a bill if an ambulance transports me to my home from the hospital?
Yes. Ambulance bills are issued for all transports from hospital to home, whether that home is a private residence, community care facility or long-term care facility. This applies even if hospital staff make the arrangements for you.
Will my ambulance bills always be covered if I am 65+?
No. Emergency transports are fully covered for seniors age 65+. “Emergency” is defined based on the clinical acuity level of the patient, as determined by paramedics during their assessment.
Someone else called an ambulance for me, without my knowledge or consent, and I was taken to hospital. Will I receive a bill?
Yes, unless you are senior 65+ and the call is classified as an emergency. This includes instances where your doctor’s office, health clinic, dentist, long-term care facility, etc., calls an ambulance for you.
Are transports between hospitals covered?
Yes. Fees are covered for Island residents who have a valid PEI Health Card and the transport is physician-referred between approved hospital facilities.
If I am sent to an out-of-province hospital for care, will my ambulance trip back to PEI be covered?
Only if you are being returned to be admitted as an inpatient at an approved Island hospital. Transports to private residences or other locations are not covered.
Those concerned about travel arrangements to get home, where an ambulance is not medically essential, should contact the Out-of-Province Liaison Program prior to discharge to discuss options.
If I am a PEI resident and use an ambulance while traveling out of province, will this be covered by my PEI Health Card?
No. PEI residents are required to pay the full costs of ground or air ambulance fees incurred while visiting another province/territory or traveling internationally. This includes all medical air transports back to Prince Edward Island. The costs for these services can be very expensive. PEI residents are strongly encouraged to obtain appropriate travel insurance when traveling outside of PEI (including travel within the Maritime region).
I am a visitor to PEI. Will my ambulance bills be covered?
No. Anyone planning to visit, work or study in PEI who does not have a valid PEI Health Card is encouraged to arrange for medical insurance that includes ground and air ambulance coverage. Details of ambulance fees for non-residents can be found here.
Medical Records and Privacy
How is my personal and health information used and protected?
The Government of PEI and paramedic services operating in PEI are committed to your privacy and the protection of your personal health information. Your personal health information will only be collected, used and disclosed for the purposes of your care or to plan and manage health services, or as otherwise permitted by law under Prince Edward Island’s Health Information Act.
I was transported by ambulance and would like to see or receive a copy of my records. Who do I contact?
Paramedic patient care records are maintained by the service provider, Island EMS. Contact them directly to request your records.
If your questions have not been answered, please contact Emergency Health Services Division, Department of Health and Wellness, for further information by phone (902-368-6705) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).