Paramedics across Australia have again topped the list as the most trusted profession for 2013. This year though, congratulations also go to Firefighters who share the top spot in the Reader’s Digest Annual Poll.

Paramedics Australasia congratulates our hard-working paramedics, who continue to hold the respect of the Australian public, but insists that it is time that Government better recognised the work that paramedics perform.

“Paramedics across Australia work in a variety of healthcare settings to care for those who are in need” said Paramedics Australasia President, Ian Patrick.

“The profession has changed significantly over the years and paramedics now have a high level of clinical knowledge and employ a large range of life-saving clinical skills that embody a measure of risk.”

“While the public shows a high level of trust for our profession, the reality is that the title of ‘Paramedic’ is not protected, and virtually anyone can call themselves a paramedic.” Mr Patrick said. “We are working to change that.”

Registration of paramedics would ensure that attending paramedics are fit to practice and have met appropriate ethical and competency standards.

In addition to protecting the public, paramedic registration would foster greater flexibility and mobility within the profession to service the diverse healthcare needs of our rural and remote communities and fill some of the demand for private ambulance and industrial service providers.

Paramedics are already registered in a number of other jurisdictions, including UK, Ireland and South Africa. Paramedic registration has also been recommended in New Zealand.

Mr Patrick said that a government discussion paper was currently being prepared to look at adding Paramedics to the list of registered professions through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

“We hope that they will support our call for registration, to enhance public safety and recognise the exceptional and unique role that paramedics play in the healthcare system.” Mr Patrick said.

Paramedics Australasia Media Release. PDF available here.