Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones says there will be more than 300 new spaces in paramedic programs at provincial colleges this year.
She says the move will bolster the paramedic workforce and make sure emergency services are available when Ontarians need them.
Several paramedic services across Ontario report that offload delays – when ambulance crews are waiting in an emergency room to transfer patient care over to the hospital – worsened from 2021 to 2022, as did the number of times when no ambulance is available within a region.
Colleges offering expanded enrolment for 2023-24 are Algonquin College, Cambrian College, Centennial College, Collège Boréal, Collège La Cité, Conestoga College, Confederation College, Durham College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, Lambton College, Northern College, St. Clair College and St. Lawrence College.
Jones says this is in addition to expanding a Learn and Stay Grant, which funds free tuition, books and fees, to students in paramedic programs in northern Ontario.
Students need to work in the same region in which they studied for at least six months for each year of the grant.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2023.
Banner image – file photo – Barrie 360