Queensland leads the way for national registration of paramedics

Published Wednesday, 06 September, 2017 at 06:08 PM

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Queensland is ensuring thousands of the State’s frontline heroes receive the professional recognition they deserve as it leads the nation in the establishment of a national registration scheme for paramedics.

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the passing of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 today in State Parliament both paved the way for the national registration of paramedics and further strengthened patient safety.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to work with ambulance officers to progress professional registration at a national level and to provide an appropriate response if a national registration scheme for paramedics is introduced,” Mr Dick said.

“They are among the most trusted and respected professions in Queensland and we want to keep it that way.

“The roles and responsibilities of paramedics has evolved dramatically over the years, becoming increasingly complex.

“There was a time when paramedics were not seen as part of the health workforce. But today, paramedics are trusted to sedate patients, use high level analgesia to relieve pain and specialised clot busting drugs to treat heart attack.

“Our high-acuity paramedics are now performing procedures that were traditionally only ever carried out in hospital settings, such as administering blood or diagnostic ultrasounds, as well as a range of other invasive, and often life-saving or life-changing procedures.

“This Bill recognises that the increasing responsibilities of our paramedics requires a national registration and accreditation scheme for paramedics.

“This registration process will ensure patients are getting the highest standards of safety and care when it comes to life-saving and life-changing procedures.”

The Bill will prevent people who are not qualified, registered or fit to practice from using the title ‘paramedic’. It also provides powers to deal with professional misconduct by paramedics.

The Bill also strengthens the National Law and the Health Ombudsman Act 2013 to strengthen the powers of national and state bodies overseeing the registration and practice regulation of health practitioners in Queensland and across Australia.

Queensland Ambulance Services Commissioner Russell Bowles said he was delighted these important regulatory reforms had received the support of the Queensland Parliament.

“The public of Queensland will be well served by the enhanced safety standards the Bill will underpin,” Mr Bowles said.

“Paramedics perform a critical health care role for the community. In the past financial year, the QAS responded to more than one million incidents.”

Vice President of Paramedics Australasia and paramedic of 22 years, Neil Noble, praised the legislation.

“Paramedics across Australia welcome this milestone in our profession,” Mr Noble said.

“It has been a long time coming, and I congratulate the Palaszczuk Government and Minister Dick for their commitment and passion to this important step in the future of paramedicine in Australia.”

Australian health ministers agreed to the proposed changes to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law in May 2017. As Queensland is the host jurisdiction for National Law the changes will now apply automatically in all other states and territories except Western Australia which must pass its own separate legislation and South Australia where regulations must be made to adopt changes.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has set up a dedicated web page to keep paramedics informed. https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Regulation-of-paramedics.aspx

The Bill will also underline the important role of the nation’s more than 3,000 registered midwives by recognising nursing and midwifery as two separate professions.

A large number of midwifery organisations and individual midwives have advocated for the change, including Australian Midwives Act Lobby Group, Homebirth Australia, CRANAplus (professional body for remote and isolated health professionals), Australian College of Midwives Consumer Advisory Committee, Maternity Choices Australia, Midwives Australia, Australian College of Midwives, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives and Maternity Reform Association (South Australia).

There will be no change to operational matters or scope of practice issues for nurses and midwives as a result of the change and separate registers for nurses and midwives will continue to be maintained.



Media contact:

Emma McBryde         0447 155 332