Cape Town - A proposal by the Health Professions Council of SA to stop all short-course paramedic and ambulance training has paramedics fuming.

The council has set out a policy, which has been sent to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for approval, to close all short course paramedic qualifications. The only training institutions remaining would be tertiary institutions accredited to run higher education courses.

The chairman of the the council’s emergency care board, Raveen Naidoo, confirmed that it had submitted draft regulations to the Health Department, which were being considered by Motsoaledi.

Trainers of paramedics and ambulance staff have called for the new policy to be scrapped.

Clint Cronning, who spoke to the Cape Argus on behalf of several other trainers, said 98 percent of paramedics held a short-course qualification.

The proposal was similar to the SA Nursing Council’s move several years ago to close short-course nursing colleges in favour of higher education training.

“This has had disastrous effects on the country, with huge nursing staff shortages occurring. (The nursing council) has since reversed its policy and reopened almost all the short-course training colleges as a cost of billions of rand to the taxpayer.”

Naidoo said the short courses did not comply with the National Qualification Framework Act or the revised higher education qualifications sub-framework. Continuing the short courses was not in the best interest of professionalisation of emergency medical care.

He said the Health Professions Council had to protect the public by ensuring the registration of appropriately qualified emergency care providers who had the skills to practise their profession safely.

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Cape Argus