Self-Regulation, Community Paramedicine Discussed with Health Minister
Jun 17, 2016
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Minister of Health, Kelvin Goertzen to chat about a number of ongoing concerns that MGEU members have been consistently bringing forward relating to health care. The meeting is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure our members’ issues are getting in front of the new government and that positive changes are being implemented quickly.
Among the many initiatives we discussed, I took the opportunity to talk about the government’s election promise to implement self-regulation of the paramedic profession, and what steps would be necessary in order to undertake this effort.
Self-regulation is a high priority for Manitoba paramedics and the MGEU has worked with members extensively over the years to ensure it’s moving forward. Our union has held telephone town hall meetings (along with the Paramedics Association of Manitoba), carried out member polling, and conducted in-person consultations across the province with elected paramedics and MGEU staff.
The Minister is cognizant of how important this issue is to our members, and understands the desire to move the process along, including further consultation with stakeholders in the near future. A timeline has not been established for this to happen, but we will continue to monitor and press the government to take action, where necessary, to get this done.
I also spoke with the Minister about community paramedicine, and the positive role this can play in communities across Manitoba. It has been proven in Winnipeg, with the Emergency Paramedics in the Community (EPIC) program, and the success of a similar program which involved stationing paramedics at the Main Street Project, that this is both an efficient use of health care dollars and an effective way to improve health outcomes.
I was fortunate to attend the International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine with a number of our MGEU paramedics, and we learned a great deal about models from around the world that are getting results and making a difference.
We know we need a partner in the provincial government in order to move our issues forward when it comes to improving patient outcomes. The same is true for our workplaces, whether that’s in the back of an ambulance, in the community as part of home care, or in a personal care home or hospital. We are going to keep the conversation going with government to make those improvements, and work with members to stay on top of their issues at work and in their neighbourhoods.
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