In the years since the College became the Alberta Chapter of the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC), we have been willing partners and participants, hoping to help further the paramedic profession at the national level. I, myself, was honoured to participate in the Paramedics on the Hill event organized and facilitated by PAC. We have had our share of struggles, but we always found a way to move past them – to unite again – in solidarity for our profession.
Many of you will know by now that sweeping changes are coming to the Health Professions Act that governs the regulation of all healthcare. These changes were announced in Bill 46 in the summer of 2020 and has now received royal assent. One change contained in this Bill is that all regulatory colleges must cease any activities of an association nature. This change means we can no longer hold our position as the Alberta chapter for PAC. We informed PAC of this situation in January and delivered our official notice of withdrawal this morning, effectively ending our affiliation with PAC. (Click here to read the letter distributed to the PAC Board of Directors.)
Obviously, this brings many questions. And I will address as many as I can here and now, but please know more updates will be forthcoming. We are already working on how we can move forward and continue to collaborate with our national partners, while focusing on our primary mandate to work in the public interest.
Liability Insurance is one of the main topics that I want to address.
As the Alberta Chapter, the College has been remitting your PAC membership fees for you; which made you an automatic member of PAC. This meant you were able to access the group liability insurance rate through Marsh Insurance. First, for those of you who are already members of the College and already have liability insurance through Marsh, your policy will remain valid until it is set to expire.
Unfortunately, Marsh Insurance was not able to work with the College to continue to broker the policy with MedThree (the underwriter for the PAC policy); however, through a different broker, the College was able to ensure all regulated members will have access to a policy with the same coverage at the same cost. New members will also be able to access this preferred group rate as they become registered with the College.
Fees, yes, fees are another topic that I can address right now. As the College will no longer be the Alberta Chapter for PAC, we will no longer be collecting the PAC fee from members. This does mean that your fees in September will not include the $15 formerly collected for PAC membership. As to the $15 collected for and during the 2020/2021 membership year, the College is working through several process factors to determine how and when those fees are to be settled.
On behalf of Council, I can assure you we will take all steps appropriate to ensure a smooth transition out of our official capacity with PAC. We continue to appreciate the efforts made at the national level on behalf of the entire profession and while our affiliation efforts may no longer be possible, we do still look forward to any possible collaboration activities we might still be able to participate in.
More information will be shared with you as soon as it is available, but if you have any immediate questions or comments you would like to share with Council, please email me at President-Council@ABparamedics.com
Stay safe out there,