Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Controversial air ambulance service in Manitoba given new guidelines

WINNIPEG - A controversial helicopter ambulance service in Manitoba is facing new rules after a government-ordered review.

The STARS service will soon have a special transport team for cases involving children under 12, and will have its personnel accredited by the Canadian Medical Association, as is the case in Ontario and British Columbia.

As well, STARS will be required to have a doctor involved in all patient transports for two months in order to boost public confidence.

The changes come from a review ordered after a few critical incidents last year on STARS missions, in which three patients were thought to have been deprived of oxygen.

Dr. Brian Postl (POH'-stuhl), who conducted the review, says the changers will address patient safety concerns.

STARS was grounded in Manitoba last December after three critical incidents, but resumed rescue missions in March.

The service resumed inter-hospital transfers for adults this summer, and will soon resume for kids as well.

While STARS has faced questions about its care in Manitoba, it has been widely lauded — and more widely used — in Saskatchewan and Alberta. It flew 177 missions last year in Manitoba, compared with 821 in Saskatchewan and almost 1,700 in Alberta.

The STARS service has also been questioned by Manitoba's auditor general, because the government gave the company a long-term $10 million a year contract in 2011 without allowing other companies to bid.

The auditor general said the cost-per-mission is triple or more the cost of other provinces' air-ambulance programs, largely because the service is used less frequently than in other provinces. STARS has said it has fixed costs for keeping personnel at the ready.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media