Medicine Hat, Alta.-based Helicopter Air Lift Operation (HALO) will be offered guaranteed funding and a contract with Alberta Health Services, moving from a fee-for-service model. HALO will get more than $1 million in annual funding.
Fort McMurray, Alta-based Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation (HERO), although already in receipt of provincial funding, will double its current annual funding, with $2 million under a new five year contract.
These contract changes will mean better integration with the provincial air ambulance system — which is especially crucial to rural areas, improved oversight and equitable and sustainable funding levels among three helicopter air ambulance providers in Alberta.
Jason Copping, Alberta Minister of Health, says “Both HERO and HALO offer a lifeline for rural communities in the northeastern and southern parts of our province, flying Albertans in need directly to a hospital with the required level of care. Predictable funding, direct contracts with AHS, and better integration means sustainable air ambulance services to help Albertans in their moments of need.”