Professional Fatigue Project: Call to Action (Part 2), The College of Paramedics Responds

Thursday, November 29th, the Alberta Paramedic Association released part one of an impact study investigating the effect of extended on-call shifts on the health and wellness of the paramedic.

During that research, there were major risks to the public identified. Public protection is the role of the Alberta College of Paramedics, therefore we provided the college with the urgent public risk findings on the very same day. The Alberta College of Paramedics has provided a response to the Association that we want to share with you.

In the letter from College President, council identifies “As the regulator, our jurisdiction is over practitioners and their conduct when providing care…” However she later goes on to state; “… the College is unable to intervene in matters of workplace conditions.”

This is an unacceptable position for the College to take on a serious public risk. “Without proper regulation, paramedicine will unfortunatly experience a fatigue driven tragedy” Association President Dusty Myshrall writes, “Don’t wait for a fatality to happen”.

The letters can be viewed below

Bill 21 – Association Members are Protected!

Bill 21: An Act to Protect Patients was passed on November 8 2018 to protect patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by regulated health professionals in Alberta. Alberta Paramedics are regulated health professionals under the Health Professions Act.

The Alberta Paramedic Association commends the Government of Alberta for introducing legislation aimed at strengthen patient protection by introducing mandatory penalties for sexual abuse and misconduct. The Association will continue to research and develop strategies for paramedics to maintain the highest level of protection for patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.

The Association is pleased to see our regulator, the Alberta College of Paramedics (College), has started its consultation process. The Association encourages all members to participate in their consultation by providing comments and feedback in their survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BM5NK87.

While we wait for the new Standard of Practice to be developed by the College, the Association wants you to become better informed on Bill 21.  We encourage all paramedics to access this link https://www.alberta.ca/protecting-patients-against-sexual-abuse.aspx to critically analyze the new legislation.

Further, the Association’s role is not only to provide awareness and voice to the members on breaking issues, but in this case, to ensure personal safety if a legal dispute arises. It is possible that there may be circumstances where paramedics may see allegations from the public that fall into the definitions within Bill 21 that may be vexatious or unfounded as part of the regular day to day work in providing care. Therefore the Association has ensured that when necessary, our members are provided with financial resources to legally defend themselves from wrongful accusations of abuse.  

The Association stresses the importance of carrying proper professional liability insurance. We want our members to know that the Association has confirmed with our insurance provider (ProLink) that members are covered for allegations involving sexual abuse and misconduct.

Bill 21 Highlights:

  • Any record of discipline or criminal conviction or conditions placed on a paramedics practice permit related to sexual abuse or misconduct must be published and for an indefinite period.  
  • A Hearing Tribunal that finds a regulated member (paramedic) guilty of sexual abuse of a patient must cancel the member’s practice permit and registration or suspend it when a paramedic is found guilty of sexual misconduct. 
  • A Patient Relations Program is to be created by each regulator, including a fund to provide treatment or counselling to patients affected by sexual abuse or misconduct by regulated health professionals.

To get the superior protection and legal resources association members have, become a member today by clicking HERE

Paramedic Choice – Mandatory Competency Markets

When membership needs a VOICE, the Association responds.

At a cost of over 1/2 a million dollars to the profession, Association members are again being iron-handed by the paramedic regulator. This time, the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACoP) have struck an exclusive deal with an educational institution to provide a competency module that has now been mandated to all EMR’s and Paramedics in Alberta.

The college sets standards for continuing competency education within their mandate. Creating exclusive content behind closed doors like this prevents paramedics from taking advantage of competative markets and giving paramedics the choice of which vendors they would like to support. “We have seen this in the past with the Narcan module and it is an ongoing problem with the Paramedic Association of Canada fees (a voluntary association we are mandated in to), paramedics have a right to CHOICE and its time to stop this inappropriate use of legislative force.” states Marc Moebis, Executive Director of the Alberta Paramedic Association.

Read the letter to the College below

Letter to College – module (PDF)

Professional Fatigue Project: Call to Action (Part 1 cont.)

Thursday, November 29th, the Alberta Paramedic Association released part one of an impact study investigating the effect of extended on-call shifts on the health and wellness of the paramedic.

During that research, there were major risks to the public identified. Public protection is the role of the Alberta college of paramedics, therefore we have provided the college with the public risk information and we are now actively lobbying them with a call to action to intervene on this dangerous model of delivering EMS in Alberta. Health Minister, Hon Sarah Hoffman has been made aware of the results of our findings and the risk to paramedic health and wellness, our patients and the public.

This project reinforces the need for a strong professional association advocating for paramedics and a regulatory college focused on public protection.

View the Regulator Call to Action (PDF Format)

View the original study Professional Fatigue Project