Less Coverage, Higher Cost: Association members are safe from insurance cuts.

While one of Canada‘s largest paramedic liability insurance providers announces they will be slashing coverage for COVID-19 related claims and raising their premiums, the Alberta Paramedic Association and Prolink Insurance lock arms tighter with Alberta’s paramedics to keep premiums low and COVID-19 coverage high.

“Having stable and consistent liability insurance for our members is among my top priorities” says Marc Moebis, Chief Operations Officer of the Alberta Paramedic Association (APA). “In the middle of a pandemic, when paramedics are not only facing higher risks themselves but also under increased stress, I think it’s pretty poor taste to start slashing at their liability coverage and raising premiums”.

Liability insurance provided by PROLINK is included with membership for all Alberta Paramedic Association members and takes effect the instant any EMR, PCP or ACP becomes a member. This premium insurance not only has a full 5 Million dollar coverage for COVID-19 related claims but also includes a unlimited toll-free legal hotline, wording specific to electronic PCR’s and possibly best of all, the Association working hard to keep coverage high and costs low. “I (Marc) am a frontline paramedic helping patients every day, I know what it’s like for paramedics out there right now and if you are an association member the last thing you need to worry about is your insurance coverage.” 

To become a member of the Alberta paramedic Association and take advantage of this premium coverage, you can sign up now at the link below at a low prorated cost which will auto-renew January 1st every year at full price.

Paramedics uniting to support the strained healthcare system

The Association has been working hard with Alberta Health Services to identify new opportunities for Paramedics and Emergency Medical Responders to work within health care facilities as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

This is a great opportunity for the growth and evolution of our profession. Working in health care facilities as a practitioner under the Health Professions Act, you will be showcasing the skills and knowledge of Paramedics outside of the EMS system.
There are still many logistics to be worked through, but while we continue to collaborate with AHS on this initiative, we will keep those on the Paramedic Response list updated.

How can you help? 

  • Sign up to be on the COVID-19 Paramedic Response list (link below)
  • Spread the word and get your colleagues to sign up
  • Become a member!
  • Take the free Nasopharyngeal swab course in the store under courses.

More info here: albertaparamedics.ca/covid

WCB / EI Coverage

This letter was sent to the Honourable Jason Copping:  Minister of Labour and Immigration March 21, 2020

Dear Honourable Copping,

As a representative organization for its members, the Alberta Paramedic Association’s (the Association) mission is to enhance knowledge, skills and the health and wellness Paramedics. The Association is not a union, but rather an elected organization that provides a voice for Paramedics within their professional practice.

Amid this COVID-19 crisis, all front-line medical professionals are doing their best to provide service for Albertan’s. Paramedics are often the first medical professionals contacted during health emergencies. Currently, Paramedics are taking great risk to protect their personal wellbeing and their families to ensure health services are being maintained.

There have been many announcements by your government outlining the financial assistance that you are providing for Albertans during this time of crisis. Current messaging is aimed at those who either become exposed or contract symptoms of the COVID-19 virus with specific direction to quarantine themselves. Once exposed, it is reasonable for paramedics to quarantine themselves to limit exposure to others however they must enact or rely on any sick benefits.

The Association has spoken previously about those Paramedics who are working extended on call shifts commonly known as Core-Flex, where compensation is based on a framework of an hourly rate and on-call rate. While those particulars can be debated another day, there is a pressing financial issue to how sick benefits, Employment Insurance (EI) and/or Workers Compensation Board (WCB) are calculated for compensation within the Core-Flex model.

Compensation for the on-call hours varies slightly between employers, however this compensation averages to roughly $6/hour. When Paramedics activate sick benefits, those hours designated as “on-call” are not compensated by sick benefits. Over the course of a 14-day quarantine, a reduction of $6.00/hour for an “on-call” period of 12-14 hours per day becomes a significant portion of their wage. To be clear, this on-call value is also not recognized by Employment Insurance (EI) or the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) benefits due to current legislation.

The Alberta Paramedic Association asks the Minister of Labor for a directive that the “on-call” portion be included in all employee sick benefits and/or the Government provide a special relief funding package for those paramedics working the Core-Flex model in order to cover the deficiency within their benefits. Furthermore, this should be included in the assessment for EI and WCB compensation. We don’t believe this to be an unreasonable request for those Paramedics who are placing their own wellbeing at risk to serve Albertans.

While the Association’s primary function is for its members, we also feel the need to contribute in a meaningful way to the Government of Alberta. Paramedics skillsets can contribute greatly in this time of need. Thank you for your time in the midst of this Crisis and I look forward to discussing these matters with you. Sincerely, 

Dusty Myshrall, ACP, Flight Paramedic
President Alberta Paramedic Association