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This article was published 19/9/2017 (850 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The veteran civil servant who led consultation on paramedic self-regulation is now heading implementation of a college of paramedicine.
Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced Tuesday morning that Reg Toews will lead the implementation of paramedic self-regulation in Manitoba.
"Mr. Toews has met with a wide range of emergency medical services (EMS) stakeholders and gained a significant amount of knowledge about paramedic self-regulation and potential implementation challenges," Goertzen said in a formal statement.
Goertzen said that Toews will develop a transitional council under The Regulated Health Professions Act, and work with stakeholders to establish key processes and plans to transition the regulation of paramedics to a permanent council.
In his report on consultation made public in May, Toews laid out three options, but said one would have too many detractors and the third wouldn’t really do much. Even the recommended option could receive negative comments on startup costs, membership fees and possibly professional liability insurance, Toews told Goertzen last spring.
The Paramedic Association of Manitoba applauded Toews' appointment Tuesday.
"We’re thrilled by today’s announcement regarding a regulatory college for paramedics in our province," Cameron Ritzer, chair of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba, said in a news release. "I share this excitement with my colleagues and with Manitobans who expect their healthcare providers to be regulated in a transparent and accountable manner."
Manitoba would be the fifth province to have self-regulated paramedics, the association said.
Ritzer said the transition to self-regulation under the RHPA will ensure paramedics are held to the same standards for education, licensing, conduct and competence as Manitoba’s 22 other regulated health professions.
Toews recommended in May the province establish a college with about half a dozen staff members that would license paramedics and establish definitions of their duties and ability to act without direction from other health-care professionals.
He recommended: "The scope of practice of paramedicine is defined as knowledge, skills and clinic expertise to assess, diagnose, manage and appropriately treat persons in situation of illness and injury and respond to all types of routine health care in a range of settings that include mobile, community, out-of-hospital or clinical settings and patient homes, co-ordinated with physicians, nurses and other health-care officials where indicated and in accordance with approved practice protocols and guidelines."
Toews said in his report in May that the college would not consider it relevant what other employment a paramedic may have, such as being a firefighter: "The college’s only concern is that the paramedic is appropriately qualified and licensed to be a paramedic."
United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg President Alex Forrest has argued a college would be another unnecessary and costly level of bureaucracy. Forrest was not immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.
Updated on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 11:13 AM CDT: Amends headline