Lobbying effort pays dividends

After years of hard work and sticking to its guns, the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board has succeeded in convincing the provincial government changes need to be made to the land ambulance funding formula.
DSSAB CAO Donna Dittaro reported at last night’s board meeting that a meeting with Ministry of Health reps last week in Sudbury revealed a new funding formula to determine the unincorporated share of land ambulance costs would be initiated.
The good news is that under the new formula, the local DSSAB will be receiving the excess money to pay for uncovered costs for land ambulance in unincorporated areas for 2003 from the government.
“The $357,000 we know is a for sure thing,” Dittaro said of the 2003 uncovered cost from the unorganized areas up to October.
“And it looks pretty good we’ll get retroactive [too].”^Dittaro noted there’s more than $500,000 in retroactive funding for 2001 and 2002 that the province owes the DSSAB for ambulance cost that couldn’t be paid by the unincorporated areas.
She explained all DSSAB managers are submitting their retroactive information at this time and the ministry is expected to make a decision shortly after it has received the requests.
“It won’t be a long waiting period,” she said, adding it could be as early as next week.