A two day meeting was held in Ottawa early in May 2011 dubbed the G5 Global Agenda for Paramedicine, Paramedics, and Paramedic Services. The invitation-only meeting brought together a group of 15 recognised global leaders in paramedic practice to consider an international agenda for the future of paramedicine.

Paramedics Australasia was there in spirit through the presence of its President Ian Patrick and member Joe Acker from Charles Sturt University.

The meeting represented the beginning of what Mike Touchstone from Philadelphia called conscious convergence; individuals representing diverse and disparate system approaches coming together with very similar ideas about how paramedic practice needs to transform itself as we move forward into the future.

The participants were asked to consider three key questions from which were developed a number of shared international strategic objectives for the profession and service delivery. The top eight things that came out of this process were as follows

  1. Promote Community Paramedics as part of the healthcare continuum for patient access
  2. Declare paramedicine and paramedic services as “Health Care” and educate service providers about their role in facilitating this Health Care
  3. Standardise the “branding” and identity of credential names (EMR, PCP, ICP, ACP, CCP, CP, PS)
  4. Define what paramedics do
  5. Define paramedicine
  6. Develop and disseminate international competency framework(s)
  7. Ensure paramedics are credentialed as a health profession
  8. Mandate a university degree as a licensing requirement at all paramedic levels except emergency medical responder

This meeting validated what Paramedics Australasia has been doing in recent years and members can be reassured that the strategies we have been pursuing have international support.

More information will become available in due course but one outcome is that there is a great opportunity to create an International Paramedic Association (or IPA) with international Chapters comprising bodies such as Paramedics Australasia. The IPA would play a key role in promoting the principles of professionalism in paramedic practice.