Emergency Health Services

Ontario’s emergency health services system is made up of:

  • Emergency medical services provided through land and air ambulance
  • Ambulance communication services to connect patients with ambulance care
  • Base hospital programs that support paramedics and the ambulance system.

All of these emergency health services work together to provide timely pre-hospital care to people across Ontario. They are regulated under the Ambulance Act, its regulations and standards.

Do you have a complaint or concern about pre-hospital care, including land and air ambulance/paramedic services, ambulance communication services, or base hospital programs? Learn how to file a complaint

Land Ambulance Services

Upper tier municipalities in Ontario – and designated delivery agents – provide ambulance services directly or through selected operators. They are responsible for ensuring that patient care and ambulance transportation are carried out effectively.

They are also responsible for supervising staff, maintaining vehicles and equipment, and assuring the quality of service delivery.

Specialized ambulance vehicles support the transportation of critically ill neonates and children from hospitals across the province to Ontario’s four tertiary paediatric centres.

Air Ambulance Services and Critical Care Services

Ornge is Ontario’s designated air ambulance provider. They also transfer critically ill patients between health care facilities through their Critical Care Land Ambulance Units.

Ambulance Communication Services

Ambulance communication services provide essential support to the ambulance system as the first point of contact by a person in need of emergency medical services.

The Ministry of Health provides ambulance communications officer training and certification for 9-1-1 call-taking and dispatching ambulances. Ambulance communications officers help ensure that emergency coverage is balanced within their geographical region according to the deployment plans of ambulance services.

Base Hospitals

The Ministry of Health’s base hospital program supports the ambulance system by providing medical oversight for the delivery of pre-hospital care.

Base hospitals provide annual training and certification, while also overseeing controlled medical acts performed by paramedics. Base hospitals also provide quality assurance monitoring of the medical direction and patient care performed.

Base hospital programs operate under a host hospital that has a signed performance agreement with the ministry.

They are responsible for the delegation of controlled medical acts, training, and quality assurance of patient care provided by paramedics.

A medical advisory committee comprised of regional base hospitals and other sector partners advises the ministry on matters related to ambulance-based pre-hospital patient care standards.

Managing Ontario’s Emergency Health System

The Ministry of Health manages emergency health services in Ontario through the Emergency Health Services Division.

This division is responsible for oversight of the emergency health system and direct delivery of some services, including but not limited to:

Contact Us

Emergency Health Services
5700 Yonge Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
Canada   M2M 4K5
Tel: 1-800-461-6431 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto: (416) 327-7900
Fax: 416-327-7911
Email: websitecontact.moh@ontario.ca

For More Information

Emergency Health Services
5700 Yonge Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
Canada   M2M 4K5

Tel: 1-800-461-6431 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto: (416) 327-7900
Fax: 416-327-7911
Email: websitecontact.moh@ontario.ca


Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation: 8:30am - 5:00pm

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