Retain the BAA, AEA and CCA courses in South Africa

The undersigned persons seek to petition the Honourable National Minister of Health within the Republic of South Africa to retain the current vocational training structure (otherwise referred to as "short courses") of the Basic Ambulance Assistant, Ambulance Emergency Assistant and Critical Care Assistant for the Emergency Medical Services in South Africa.

  • A substantial number of existing emergency medical services staff members have already begun their careers via the vocational training methodology and are entitled to the right to continue to further the qualifications and careers under the current vocational training structure.

 

  • Many staff members who are already working within the emergency medical services structures of South Africa do not have the financial resources to support their families while they take unpaid leave to requalify on the new emergency medical services curricula (namely ECA, ECT and ECP).

 

  • It is highly unlikely that either provincial or private emergency medical services will have to financial resources to continue to pay to keep staff members employed while at the same time paying for these staff members to requalify on the ECA, ECT or ECP curricula.

 

  • A number of emergency medical services staff members in South Africa come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and would not have the financial resources to start a career in this field if the move to close the Basic Ambulance Assistance (BAA), Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA) and Critical Care Assistant (CCA) courses continues.

 

  • The course structures of the Basic Ambulance Assistant, Ambulance Emergency Assistant and Critical Care Assistant allow staff members with limited financial resources to work and study in intervals that are financially viable and realistic for those with limited financial means.

 

  • Existing staff members within the emergency medical services of South Africa would seek to see both the Department of Health as well as the Health Professions Council of South Africa implementing tighter regulation of facilities providing the BAA, AEA and CAA courses.

 

  • Existing staff members within the emergency medical services of South Africa would seek to see both the Department of Health as well as the Health Professions Council of South Africa implementing annual reviews and updates to the BAA, AEA and CCA course curricula to enable these courses to develop, to add course content and to increase the abilities and protocols of the staff members who have qualified on these courses to increase their skill set, in line with international advances in emergency medicine in the pre-hospital setting.

 

  • Existing staff members within the emergency medical services of South Africa would seek to see both the Department of Health as well as the Health Professions Council of South Africa actively seeking to increase the number of both government and private training facilities offering the Ambulance Emergency Assistant Course and most importantly the Critical Care Assistance course within all nine provinces of South Africa.

 

  • Existing staff members within the emergency medical services of South Africa would seek to see both the Department of Health as well as the Health Professions Council of South Africa implementing stricter quality control measures on existing BAA, AEA and CCA training facilities in order to ensure that the quality of the graduates from such training facilities is consistent and of the highest quality.

 

  • Existing staff members within the emergency medical services of South Africa do not believe that the structures of the BAA, AEA and CCA courses are the reason behind the current concerns over these courses, but that the lack of quality control and monitoring exercised over some of the training courses offering the said courses is the reason behind the concern regarding the said courses.

 

  • Existing staff members within the emergency medical services of South Africa would seek to see both the Department of Health as well as the Health Professions Council of South Africa take steps to align the BAA, AEA and CAA courses to SAQA unit standards.  We further see no reasonable argument why this cannot be achieved with the desired will and effort to do so by the authorities concerned.

 

  • In summary the undersigned emergency medical staff members firmly believe that the move to cease training of the Basic Ambulance Assistant, Ambulance Emergency Assistant and Critical Care Assistance courses with prejudice their ability to further their studies and careers within the emergency medical services of South Africa, will be to the detriment of the staffing requirements of both provincial and private ambulance services of South Africa as well the South African members of public who rely on these emergency medical services.  The undersigned staff members further believe that this move will be to the detriment of persons within South Africa who cannot afford to undertake training on the time frames suggested for the ECA, ECT and ECP courses, but would seek to advanced themselves within South African society.  We further need to see the accreditation of colleges offering the Ambulance Emergency Assistant courses and Critical Care Assistant courses across South Africa.

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