This week has been dedicated to recognize paramedics across the country. During this year’s Paramedic Services Week, May 27 to June 2, on behalf of the Alberta Paramedic Association, I thank you for all you do.
I thank you for putting in the long hours, working in challenging circumstances and providing the utmost of professional care for both individuals and their families during their most trying times.
Throughout the week, many of you will be highlighting our profession through open houses and community displays. Being able to showcase what we do demonstrates the critical role we each play in contributing to the health of our communities and its members. Your extra efforts during this time are appreciated.
So, while today we are publicly thanking each of you for what you do, know that sentiment is carried throughout the year and your work is greatly valued.
Kelly Johnston, Senior Communications Specialist Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary 2500 University Dr. NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Re: Stroke Poster
Dear Kelly Johnston:
We have a few concerns and a lot of excitement regarding poster in the Calgary Airport featuring a program that, we understand, includes your involvement. The “How do we increase the chances of walking away from a stroke?” poster outlines a significant study that would be of great value to our profession.
The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA), is a representative society working throughout this province in an organized and strategic manner to enhance the skills, knowledge and wellness of the practitioners while promoting an understanding of the profession to the public.
With consideration to the advocacy aspect of our role, we were greatly disappointed to have our profession relegated to being “ambulance drivers” on the University of Calgary poster. Each member of our profession has worked hard to develop an expertise and skill set dedicated to the healthcare profession. In addition, they make extended daily sacrifices– time away from their families and impacts on their lifestyles – to perform this essential work on extreme schedules. To imply the entire skillset is based on “driving” is extremely derogatory and diminishes the profession. We would be more than happy to publicize an apology to those in the profession regarding this misnomer, as the poster has recently been published on Facebook and significant displeasure is being generated.
Despite, the downgrading of our profession within the study information, it is recognized the value results of such learnings can have across the health industry in the province. Having identified the role of paramedics within the prognosis of those who suffer a stroke demonstrates a potential change or improvement in our practice. In the future, the Association would be supportive of working with organizers of such academic initiatives where it has implications on the paramedic profession. Be it for language verification or support of research criteria.
While we appreciate the intent of the poster and the study, it was a significant misstep to refer to those in the paramedic profession as “ambulance drivers” and we hope you will see the benefit of respecting the profession with a removal of the poster and a public apology.
If we as an Association can be of assistance in this or other matters related to our profession, we hope you will reach out at email@example.com or 780-904-3619 and perhaps, such inadvertent misunderstandings can be avoided in the future.
Re: Professional Liability Insurance Clarification
The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) is an independent, representative organization of its members with an aim of implementing programs and services that improve the lives of paramedics in Alberta. This includes paramedics having a choice of insurance providers. The Association has worked diligently to introduce an alternative professional liability insurance option to provide balance and reduce premiums, or at least prevent rising premiums, in the liability insurance market. We have also worked to ensure practitioners have information to understand this relatively new requirement.
However, an article published by Marsh and disseminated by the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) in the latest edition of Canadian Paramedicine magazine, misinforms practitioners about their options, failing to accurately report the facts. The APA wants to ensure you have the necessary clarity to support your professional liability insurance decisions.
While the article stated the cost of insurance through the APA is $75 plus tax, it is actually an APA membership that has a $75 value, including the tax and professional liability insurance that has been designed around the specific needs of practitioners in this province.
The article also noted that insurance through Marsh has a cost of $59, but failed to mention it is only available to members of PAC, which is a mandated requirement by the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP), at a cost of $17 per year and included as part of the required annual registration fee charged by ACP.
Additionally, this article fails to bring to light the fact that Marsh insurance does not provide coverage for the timeframe prior to a practitioner’s departure from the profession. It has been established that even if a practitioner pays for professional liability insurance through Marsh, once they leave practice, don’t renew or take a leave of absence, that entire coverage period is void.
Having heard so many concerns from practitioners regarding liability insurance, it is important to the Alberta Paramedic Association that you have the right information available. Please reach out and let us know if you have other questions or concerns relative to the requirement for professional liability insurance. Further details regarding insurance can be found on our website – www.albertaparamedics.ca.
The Hon. Sarah Hoffman, Deputy Premier, Minister of Health Government of Alberta 423 Legislature Building 10800 – 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Re: Professional Liability Insurance
Dear Minister Hoffman:
The Alberta Paramedic Association (the Association) is a non-profit volunteer organization. The directive of the Association is to establish a representative society to serve as a voice for Emergency Health Services Practitioners (Paramedics) within their professional practice.
With this in mind, we want to inform you that the Association has recently introduced professional liability insurance (PLI) as part of the services we provide. This benefit is included within the Association’s $75-dollar annual membership fee. To date, Paramedics have had limited choices when obtaining financially feasible insurance. With the introduction of this benefit into the system, Paramedics now have a choice in accessing high quality liability insurance.
The PLI offered through PROLINK Insurance Group Inc. meets and in some areas exceeds all insurance requirements set forth by the Alberta College of Paramedics.
As a representative organization, improvements that benefit Paramedics supports the mandate of the Association in enhancing knowledge, skills and health and wellness.
If you would like to discuss this matter further, or any other aspects of the Association, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-904-3619.
Thank you for your time.
Dusty Myshrall, ACP, Flight Paramedic President Alberta Paramedic Association