The British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) is the sole provider of ambulance service in BC. BCAS also provides inter-facility patient transport between hospitals. To call for an ambulance in case of an emergency, simply dial 9-1-1. This number is also valid for all emergencies (police, fire, etc.). BCAS has both ground and air ambulances, and will employ the use of the air ambulance if the patient requires a higher level of care.
Although ambulance service is not a benefit covered by MSP, the service is heavily subsidized for valid CareCard holders. Additionally, those with extended health benefits will likely pay nothing at all (costs may need to be paid up front but will be reimbursed) for ambulance service.
Fee structure (directly from the BCAS website):
- 911 Response Fee—when BC Ambulance Service is requested to a residence/workplace, but transportation is not required/refused: $50 flat fee – ground or air
- MSP Beneficiaries: 911 Ambulance Transport—when a BC ambulance is requested and a patient is transported: $80 flat fee – ground or air
- MSP Beneficiaries: Inter-Hospital Transfers—when a BC ambulance transports a patient between hospitals: $0
- MSP Beneficiaries: Inter-Facility Transfers—when a BC ambulance transports a patient between a facility (e.g. care home) and hospital: $80 flat fee – ground or air
All the above ambulance transport categories—persons with no valid BC Care Card (e.g. visitors to BC/non-residents, as well as work related injuries, claims under RCMP, and other federal agencies).
- $530 flat fee – ground service
- $2,746 per hour – helicopter
- $7 per statute mile – airplane
For further information, please refer to the British Columbia Ambulance Service website — http://www.bcas.ca/EN/index.html.