New paramedic laws could flatline industry, bemoans association

The SA Private Ambulance Emergency Services Association (Sapaesa) says that new regulations could hamper the growth of the industry.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi signed into effect law that no longer recognises the six-week basic life support, six-month intermediate life support and nine-month advanced life support courses or practical experience for paramedics.

Sapaesa CEO Oliver Wright says the laws will see less graduates and deter paramedics from continuing in their field of work.

He says they are disappointed by the regulation which the association had expressed objection to before.

The regulation now insists that a basic life support paramedic has to complete a two-year course, and those wanting to become advanced life support paramedics must complete a four-year degree.

According to Wright, the curriculum for short-term courses could have been revised to make it advanced, instead of scrapping the programmes all together.

He says the laws will see substantial problems in the medium-to-long-term, with far less paramedics graduating annually as the paramedic-population ratio continues to worsen.

We're going to see a gradual decline in the levels of service delivery over the next few years.

Oliver Wright, CEO of SA Private Ambulance Emergency Services Association

The Health ministry was not available for comment.

Take a listen to Wright and an intermediate life support paramedic air their concerns:

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