Province adding 300 paramedic program spaces, including at Oshawa’s Durham College

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Published June 30, 2023 at 3:10 pm

The Province is adding more than 300 spots in paramedic programs around Ontario this year, including Durham College’s four-semester program in Oshawa.

“There is a significant demand for paramedics in communities across the province, and our government is making it as easy as possible for those who want to train and work in this important profession,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “In partnership with the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs, we are strengthening Ontario’s paramedic workforce for years to come.”

More student spaces in primary care paramedic programs at colleges across Ontario will make it easier for future paramedics to access education and training closer to home and “expanding the pipeline of talent for the future” will also help bolster the paramedic workforce and make sure emergency services are available to respond to emergencies when and where Ontarians need them, said Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop.

“These new spots will play a critical role in addressing the current shortage of paramedics by preparing more highly-skilled health care professionals to enter the workforce and provide the excellent care Ontarians deserve.”

Colleges getting a share of the new paramedic spaces include Algonquin College, Cambrian College, Centennial College, Collège Boréal, Collège La Cité, Conestoga College, Confederation College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, Lambton College, Northern College, St. Clair College, St. Lawrence College and Durham.

“The Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs welcomes the addition of 300 new spaces across Ontario for paramedic training,” said association president Michael Sanderson, adding that he looks forward to working with Dunlop and Jones and the colleges to place “highly trained and skilled paramedics on the road to serve Ontarians.”

The Province also announced additional funding grants available for new students in the field. The newly expanded Ontario Learn and Stay Grant will provide students in 2023-2024 at select post-secondary institutions with funding for free tuition, books, compulsory fees and other direct educational costs. (After graduating, students will need to work in the same region they studied for a minimum of six months for every full year of study funded by the grant.)

Durham College is partnering in this program with Seven Generations Education Institute for students in Ontario’s far northwest communities of Kenora, Fort Frances and Sioux Lookout.

The province is also giving paramedics the flexibility to treat additional 9-1-1 patients – including those with diabetes and epilepsy – at home, on scene, or in appropriate community-based settings instead of in emergency departments. This model of care is already in place for palliative as well as mental health and addictions patients.

Ontario is expanding its community paramedicine program as well, a program which enables paramedics to use their training and expertise beyond their traditional emergency response role to help people with chronic health conditions live independently at home.

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