Tarlac lawmaker bats for institutionalization of pre-hospital emergency care system

Rep. Victor Yap (Second District, Tarlac) urged the passage of House Bill 539 otherwise known as the “Pre-hospital Emergency Care Act” seeking to institutionalize a national pre-hospital emergency medical care system and establish the supervision, control and regulation of the practice of pre-hospital care professionals.
“In a country frequented by many calamities year in and year out, and where accident is one of the leading causes of death, there is a strong need to institutionalize a system that will allow the growth and development of pre-hospital emergency care while at the same time ensuring that the pre-hospital emergency care received by every Filipino meets the standards set by the proper regulatory body to ensure safety and maintain the integrity of pre- hospital emergency care services in the country,” Yap said.

The measure seeks to establish a more responsive and organized pre-hospital and emergency care system. This is done through the creation of the National Pre-Hospital Council (NPHCC) under the Department of Health that is mandated to develop internationally-accepted standards for the practice of pre-hospital care professionals, to ensure the development of pre-hospital emergency care system at the national and local level and the proper implementation of the law, and the regulation of pre-hospital emergency care profession.

It also provides that training programs, courses and continuing education for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) be conducted only by the institutions recognized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Higher Education Institution (HEI) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The NPHCC, in coordination with TESDA, CHED, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and accredited professional organizations, to prepare, update and maintain a roster of certified EMTs.

Emergency medical vehicles must also comply with the minimum requirements for the design, construction, performance, equipment, testing and appearance. As such, only emergency medical vehicles shall be allowed to display the word “Ambulance” and the universally accepted “Star of Life” symbol.

The Pre-hospital Emergency Care Act penalizes the illegal use of the Universal Emergency Telephone Number and the unlawful practice of pre-hospital emergency medical service.

Bills on the same subject matter have also been filed by Rep. Teddy Baguilat (Lone District, Ifugao), Rep. Angelina Tan (4th District, Quezon), and Rep. Ron Salo (KABAYAN Partylist). These bills have been jointly referred to the Committee on Health and the Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation.#

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