EMALB Complaints – Important Communication – Liability Insurance

Dear Members;

Re:       EMALB Complaints – Important Communication – Liability Insurance

Further to earlier communications on this subject, we write once again to advise you on the importance of purchasing and maintaining insurance in relation to your Paramedic practice. And to warn members about a recent Employer communication regarding seeking advice on practice complaints made to the EMALB. We also include an important message to current policy holders.

Letter to BCEHS: https://bit.ly/2WezS8P

See page 12 of the attached Ops Update: https://bit.ly/35G9RCG

Professional Liability Insurance

It is CRITICAL that all Paramedics carry liability insurance to protect you and your Paramedic practice.

Our members are committed, respected health professionals who provide the highest possible level of care to the citizens of British Columbia. However, the high-risk nature of the services provided, and unique aspects and responsibilities of practicing paramedicine create unique challenges.   

Complaints to the EMALB can and do arise – unfortunately on a more and more frequent basis and, often, through no fault of our members. Responding to complaints, even frivolous ones, can be costly when it comes to obtaining legal advice. If substantiated, a complaint can have far-reaching implications including the imposition of restrictions or conditions on your practice, or even the suspension or revocation of your license.

Insurance coverage for all Canadian paramedics is available through the Paramedic Association of Canada’s Professional Liability Insurance Program at an annual premium of $59.00 (with a $500.00 deductible); that includes coverage to the policy limit for costs associated with legal expenses incurred to defend EMALB complaints. For more information or to purchase insurance please see: https://paramedic.ca/site/liability or contact MARSH at 1.888.725.5137 or at paramedic.service@marsh.com

Additional Information can be obtained https://www.apbc.ca/members-area/news-and-updates/provincial-news-and-updates/emalb-representation/ 

Responding to EMALB Complaints – Do not seek assistance from BCEHS 

Do not contact the Employer for assistance in responding to an EMALB complaint.

Recently, in the March 2, 2020 publication of OpsUpdate, the BCEHS communicated that they are available (through the Employer’s Clinical and Professional Practice team) “to provide support and review your complaint to provide advice prior to your response submission to the EMALB”. 

Regardless of who initiates the complaint, the Employer’s interests are not aligned with yours as a respondent.  For example, facts gathered by the Employer in such an ‘advisory’ setting may be utilized to inform an Employer investigation and/or as a basis to impose discipline on you under the Collective Agreement. As well, unfortunately the BCEHS has been reporting paramedics to the EMALB with increasing frequency. As complainant, the Employer has a foreseeable and direct conflict of interest with you as a respondent to the complaint. It is highly problematic for you to seek the support and advice of your Employer when responding to EMALB complaints.  

Although advice and representation on EMALB matters is not provided by APBC, you can contact APBC for general information/ direction on next steps. Where an EMALB complaint results in an Employer investigation and/or discipline under the Collective Agreement, the Union will continue to represent members in respect to those matters. Should you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your Regional Vice President or Provincial Executive. 


Troy Clifford
Provincial President
Ambulance Paramedics & Emergency Dispatcher of BC
CUPE Local 873


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