Study shows people trust paramedics in Saskatchewan

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May 22, 2013 - 2:29pm Updated: May 22, 2013 - 4:27pm
Steven Skoworodko, a member of the board of directors for the Saskatchewan Emergency Medical Association says results means EMS is doing well and that the role of paramedics is moving forward. Kelly Malone/News Talk Radio
Steven Skoworodko, a member of the board of directors for the Saskatchewan Emergency Medical Association says results means EMS is doing well and that the role of paramedics is moving forward. Kelly Malone/News Talk Radio

A new survey shows that paramedics are the most trusted healthcare profession in the province.

"We did a survey of 800 residents of Saskatchewan," said Steven Skoworodko, a member of the board of directors for Saskatchewan Emergency Medical Association.

"We wanted to examine how trusted paramedics are and also what the acceptance would be of paramedics going into new and changing roles in health care in the province."

The results were very supportive.

"Close to 80 per cent of respondents trusted paramedics," said Skoworodko.

The province is moving to a larger acceptance of treatment by paramedics with 89 per cent of respondents indicating that paramedics are 'very important' to the health care system - ahead of doctors and nurses.

Skoworodko explained that a large part is that people are responding quick and convenient treatment that paramedics supply.

"If it meant traveling an hour to see a physician for a minor emergency, people would rather be treated at home by a paramedic for a minor emergency rather than traveling an hour for the same kind of care," he said.

The results did not surprise Skoworodko but he said it's good to have feedback as they move forward into new roles for paramedics. Those roles include the health bus and the decision by the provincial government to look into collaborative health centres.

"Collaborative health centres are where a paramedic and an RN work at night with a physician by phone to provide emergency care in a facility type setting," he explained.

The results mirror a federal survey done by the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada two years ago. The release of the survey was also the kick off for EMS week which takes place across Canada next week.

kmalone@rawlco.com

Follow on Twitter: @KellyGerMalone

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