Talk out of Queen’s Park is that as part of its overall review of health care delivery, the Ontario government plans to amalgamate the province’s 59 paramedic services into ten.

No details are public yet, leaving Cochrane District paramedic chief Jean Carriere dealing with medics who are worried about their jobs and the level of service delivery.

Carriere says he’s calming those fears by pointing out that Premier Doug Ford and his staff are saying they will focus on patient care and don’t intend to affect front line workers.

Jean Carriere. Photo credit: Bob McIntyre, Moose FM

“We’ll be representing those paramedics and the services that they deliver, but our communities are not going to be left without any paramedic services,” says Carriere.

Among the questions is whether the amalgamations will be for administration purposes only, or how funding is distributed.

“Over the next coming weeks and months,” he projects, “I’m sure those details will come forward and as the paramedic chief, I’ll be working closely with my counterparts in other paramedic services and with our local representatives from the DSSAB to ensure that the Northern Ontario flavour or issues are brought forward and ensuring that our geography is not necessarily brushed aside and that’s definitely taken into account.”

Right now, Cochrane District EMS is operated by the District Social Services Administration Board.