European University of Lefke (EUL) Vocational School of Health Services organized a conference themed “Historical Development of Paramedic Profession”. Assistsant Professor Suphi Türkmen and Mehmetali Önal attended to the conference which was held at EUL Rauf Raif Denktaş Conference Hall as speakers.
Türkmen: “Paramedic profession is a current issue”
Türkmen, who contributed to the establishment of the paramedic profession, firstly touched upon the history of this profession. Türkmen stated that the first agreement with Cambridge University in Canada was made in 1993, the charge nurse Semra Çelik was trained in Canada and added that Çelik was the first paramedic in Turkey. Stating that the first paramedic program was opened in Dokuz Eylül University in 1994, Türkmen said that he was among the first who offered this program.
Türkmen touched upon the current situation of paramedic profession and said that, “Until 2000, several schools had paramedic programs but now there are 465 paramedic training institutions in Turkey”.
Türkmen stated that this was his first presentation on the development of paramedic profession and he expressed that he was very glad to share this with the students of EUL.
Önal: “In 2000, the paramedic profession was not known in Turkey.”
Önal who started to work ideologically to promote and place paramedic profession into a place where it deserves stated that first of all he was actively involved in a commission under the name of the Emergency Medical Association and by doing so he started to introduce paramedic profession to the healthcare sector.
Önal who is among the founding members of the Paramedic Society in Turkey said that the Paramedic Association was established in 2000 and has taken its place among important associations in Turkey. Önal said that since 2013 universities has started to open paramedic programs and the number of graduates is ever increasing.
Önal: “I came to Cyprus in 2002 as a paramedic and I had some difficulties in introducing paramedic profession to Cyprus”
Önal stated that first of all they tried to introduce the paramedic profession to the health sector and that after they succeeded they have included paramedics in the 112 system. Önal said that the Paramedic Association was established in TRNC in July 2017 and that they would like to continue apace and added that by doing so they would like to bring prestige and quality that ambulances gain in Turkey to Cyprus.
Önal said that, “The mission of the Paramedic Association is to work for the development of pre-hospital emergency care, which has an important place in the emergency medical services system, to support the development and determination of the professional standards of the paramedic profession and paramedics. The vision of the Paramedic Association is to collect all the paramedics in the TRNC under one roof and to be a leader organization in the field of pre-hospital emergency care in the world”.
At the end of the conference, Vice Director of the Vocational School of Health Services, Assistant Professor Besim Özyel, presented a certificate of appreciation to Türkmen and Önal.