Legislative Amendments – the Next Step Towards Registration

By Peter Jurkovsky

At the October 2016 meeting of members of the Paramedics Registration Project, Health Ministers reached agreement on a number of unresolved policy issues. Agreement on these issues paves the way for preparing the legislative amendments required to include paramedics in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS), with national registration for paramedics set to commence in late 2018.

The next step in the registration process is for the legislative amendments to be drafted and approved by the Ministers for passage along with a broader package of reforms to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law). Targeted consultation with key stakeholders on details of the legislative amendments is scheduled to occur in February, with a Bill expected to be introduced to the Queensland Parliament by mid-2017. Separate legislation will be introduced into the Western Australian Parliament, and in South Australia, amendment of regulations will be required. Once the Bill has passed the Queensland Parliament it is automatically adopted in all other jurisdictions.

Following passage of the amended legislation, ‘paramedicine’ will become the 15th profession to be regulated under the National Law, joining chiropractors, dental practitioners, medical practitioners, nurses and midwives, optometrists, osteopaths, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and psychologists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners, medical radiation practitioners and occupational therapists.

The targeted consultation will involve the National Stakeholder Reference Group, which is made up of the following key stakeholders or their representatives:

  • Paramedics Australasia
  • Student Paramedics Australasia
  • Ambulance Employees Australia
  • Australia and New Zealand College of Paramedics
  • Consumer Health Forum
  • Council of Ambulance Authorities
  • Department of Defence
  • Network of Australasian Paramedic Academics
  • National Council of Ambulance Unions
  • Private Paramedicine Australasia
  • St John Ambulance
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

The establishment of a National Paramedicine Board of Australia will commence once legislation is in place, with members appointed by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council. Key tasks for the Board will be to develop registration standards and assess the eligibility for ‘grand-parenting’ of the existing paramedic workforce.

The final report – Options for Regulation of Paramedics September 2015 is available on the COAG Health Council website

PA leads the way

Not only is PA a key stakeholder on the National Stakeholder Reference Group (along with SPA) the launch of the PA eLearning platform demonstrates a strong leadership move that ensures our members have access to a state-of-the-art eLearning program to enable compliance with CPD requirements of the future national registration world for paramedics. Members can access our exciting new eLearning platform at www.elearning.paramedics.org

Peter Jurkovsky
Board Director, Paramedics Australasia
Chair of the Australian National Registration Working Group