Amazingly, and thankfully, the end of 2020 is fast approaching. It certainly has been a most challenging year, and whether you find yourself on the front lines or working in industry, education or management, our profession has continued to demonstrate our immense resiliency and value to Alberta’s healthcare system. Thank you for your dedication.
With the New Year that will soon be upon us, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone to ensure you update your professional liability insurance. Personal, professional liability insurance is required of all regulated members by the Health Professions Act (HPA) and the Minister of Health expects that in our requirement to regulate the profession, that the College only grants active practice permits to those who have valid insurance.
This year the College implemented a condition that appeared on your permit, which reads, “Liability Insurance Policy recorded on profile must be valid.” We know that each of you renew your insurance at some point, however, when this happens, it is only known to you and your insurance provider. The only way the College knows that this has taken place is when you update your policy details on your profile in the member portal. You will note that the condition will remain in place as a reminder to keep the information up to date to avoid having your permit suspended.
This year during renewal, we discovered a handful of self-employed members experienced some difficulty obtaining personal, professional liability insurance. For self-employed practitioners, please remember that you must first ensure your business carries its own insurance, to allow you as a practitioner to be eligible for the personal professional liability insurance required by legislation and the College. How you, as a business owner, set this up with your provider is completely up to you, but do recognize that the College only requires proof of your valid personal professional liability insurance information listed in your portal.
I know for some of you paying for insurance may seem like just another cost to stay regulated, but then I must ask you, how you benefit from any type of insurance? Your home or renter’s insurance, vehicle insurance, and yes, professional liability insurance, all protects you from the unthinkable. As a home owner or renter, your policy protects you from fire, flood and theft. As a vehicle owner, your policy protects you from accidents, theft and vandalism. As healthcare providers, who are called upon to perform critical interventions on very sick patients, your policy protects you in the event that a negative outcome occurs as a result of the care you provide. If you are named in legal action as a result of the care you provided and you are not carrying liability insurance, the consequences could be devastating. Liability insurance costs between $60-70 per year. Having this protection in place is simply a no brainer. No one wants to see any practitioner facing a financially devastating outcome.
If you think of your liability insurance as a component of your PPE, next time you are getting ready for your shift, ask yourself if you are still carrying current liability insurance and if you know your practice permit is still active and valid. This type of protection really is every bit as important as a ballistic vest, steel-toed boots, eye protection, masks and gloves. We all hope we never need it, but if we do, we’re relieved it was there to protect us.
Thank you all again for your commitment to this profession through these trying times. As we head into what appears to be another wave, please remember to take care of yourselves and each other.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at registrar@ABparamedics.com.
Tim A. Ford