“We are asking for a commitment now because patients and paramedics deserve answers, because the government already has received recommendations on how to move forward, and because reports from the recent campaign have raised questions about the government’s intentions.” — Michelle Gawronsky, President MGEU/NUPGE
Winnipeg (11 March 2015) — The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) is working to clarify for its paramedic members the status of the Paramedics Association of Manitoba’s (PAM) application for self-regulation, and what the time frame might be to get a final answer from the government.
According to PAM's website "Self-regulation through a Manitoba College of Paramedics will ensure public protection and accountability through processes defined in The Regulated Health Professions Act (“RHPA”), including public representation in decision making processes, the development of a continuing competency program and a formal complaints investigation process. A Manitoba College of Paramedics would regulate the practice of paramedicine and assure the public of the knowledge, skill, proficiency and competency of EMS practitioners."
Long process but details promised soon
The government has received the recommendations of the Health Professions Advisory Council (HPAC) regarding the self-regulation of paramedics. At a recent meeting between MGEU/NUPGE and Health Minister Sharon Blady, it was confirmed that the Minister would soon be releasing details of the government’s plans as they pertain to self-regulation. This has been a long process, and paramedics have had many questions about why it has taken so long.
According to the Minister, the long process is due to this being the first application to be decided under the new legislation and the complexity of the issues at stake. There were also members added to the HPAC council who required time to be brought up to speed on the intricacies of the issue.
Growing political issue
It was reported that the future of paramedicine was a pivotal issue in the recently held NDP leadership campaign. Many paramedics are concerned that commitments may have been made regarding self-regulation of the profession. MGEU/NUPGE President, Michelle Gawronsky, has written to Premier Selinger asking whether the government is committed to self-regulation.
“The government needs to be up front about whether or not it will act to fix emergency medical services in Manitoba,” said MGEU/NUPGE President Michelle Gawronsky. “We are asking for a commitment now because patients and paramedics deserve answers, because the government already has received recommendations on how to move forward, and because reports from the recent campaign have raised questions about the government’s intentions.”
MGEU/NUPGE has reaffirmed that it is committed to self-regulation and believes that PAM has more than made the case that self-regulation can and should be a reality in Manitoba.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE