Paramedicine Board of Australia - October 2023
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October 2023

Issue 11 – October 2023


From the Chair

Stephen Gough

Paramedicine is a dynamic and highly regarded profession. The health workforce role of paramedics may be very different in the future in response to a range of factors including intergenerational change, the ageing Australian demographic, evolving healthcare needs and demand for health services.

At a recent national forum hosted by the Paramedicine Board, we asked the burning question: what might the future of paramedicine look like? Community expectations, emerging technology and major events with worldwide impacts such as the COVID19 pandemic, continue to challenge traditional models of care. The Board is eager to be prepared to enable the profession’s evolution while ensuring safe and effective patient care. Read more about the forum below.

Welcome to those who are new to the profession, and a reminder that if you are renewing your registration, annual renewal starts in October and needs to be completed by 30 November 2023. Registration fees remain unchanged for 2023/24; read more below.

As always, take care and continue to support each other in safe, professional practice.

Professor Stephen Gough ASM
Chair, Paramedicine Board of Australia

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Priority news

Paramedicine workforce survey from the Australasian College of Paramedicine

The Australasian College of Paramedicine is funding a survey of the paramedicine workforce in Australia and New Zealand. The survey aims to identify trends across demographics, fields of employment, intention to upskill, intention to leave the workforce and other key variables, to produce a comprehensive picture of the workforce.

The project is being led by Western Sydney University (Western) in association with Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Edith Cowan University, with ethics approval from Western and AUT.

Researchers are hoping to hear from paramedics registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) or the Kaunihera Manapou Paramedic Council as well as those providing paramedicine services outside jurisdictional ambulance services.

This survey is voluntary, anonymous and will close on 12 January 2024.

Take the survey here.

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Board news

Paramedicine Board forum explores the future of the profession

Paramedics have long been recognised for their exceptional skills in urgent care situations. However, as the healthcare needs of the community change, so does the role paramedics can play in primary and community care settings.

On 22 August, the Paramedicine Board of Australia hosted senior state and Commonwealth representatives, private and public sector employers, education providers, community groups and regulatory bodies for a one-day, national forum to explore the future of the profession.

As the national regulator, the Board was keen to understand the challenges, opportunities and regulatory infrastructure needed to provide a flexible, responsive and sustainable workforce.

Paramedicine functions in an environment of rapid change and modern healthcare trends in Australia and overseas will influence the skills and capabilities paramedics. This includes how paramedics contribute beyond first-response and whether there is a role for advanced practice in paramedicine.

Alongside exploring and understanding innovation in the profession, it is critical that education, accreditation and regulation keep pace to make sure the public is properly protected. The forum delved into how educators, employers, regulators and governments can work together to maintain the high level of patient care the community expects from its paramedics.

The Board thanks everyone who attended and contributed to the discussion.


Students and graduates

Graduates – apply for registration now!

Need help applying?

Check out our graduate video to help you get your application right.

You’ll find helpful advice, tips for avoiding common causes of delay and downloadable information flyers on the Graduate applications page of the Ahpra website.

A new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team (the support team) is also available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates who might need help with or have questions about their application for registration.

The support team is committed to helping graduates get registered promptly so you can start making vital contributions to safe healthcare and to your communities. If, after reading our helpful tips, you would still like help with your application for registration, please email the support team at [email protected].

Who can certify documents?

In addition to a Justice of the Peace (JP), most registered health practitioners, public servants, teachers, lecturers and members of the legal profession can certify photographic ID documents. For the full list of authorised officers see the Certifying documents guide.

Make sure you provide correct photo ID

It's important that you provide correctly certified photo ID documents with your application as the wording required is specific:

‘I certify that this is a true copy of the original and the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document as sighted by me.’

To get it right the first time, download the Certifying documents guide and take it with you to the authorised officer.

Meeting the registration standards

You may need to provide supporting documents with your application to prove that you meet the Paramedicine Board’s registration standards, including meeting the English language skills requirements. Make sure you provide all the documents we need with your application so we can assess it quicker.

How long does it take to assess my application?

We can’t finalise your application until we receive your graduation results from your education provider.

If you’ve submitted everything needed to prove you’ve met the requirements for registration, we aim to finalise your application within two weeks of receiving your graduation results.

For more information, read the news item.


Registration news

Fees for 2023/24 remain unchanged

The Board has worked closely with Ahpra to keep your annual registration fee as low as possible. There will be no change to the registration fee, which will remain at $240 from 20 September. This will cover the registration period from 1 December 2023 to 30 November 2024.

While we need to meet our regulatory obligations and the expectations of the community, it is also important that we do what we can to alleviate some of the increasing financial pressures that paramedics face in the current environment.

Read more in the news item.

Online renewal for paramedics is now open

Paramedics have until 30 November 2023 to renew their general or non-practising registration on time.

We encourage you to renew early to avoid delays during the busy renewal period. Renewing on time also means you’ll avoid late fees which apply after 30 November 2023.

Look out for an email from Ahpra providing access to online renewal.

Ready to renew?

Head to our registration renewal webpage to start an online application.

If you submit your application on time, or during the following one-month late period, you can continue practising while your application is assessed.

If you don’t renew by the end of the late period, 31 December 2023, your registration will lapse, you’ll be removed from the public register and you won’t be able to use the protected title for the profession.

Got questions?

Read the renewal FAQs on the Ahpra website for helpful tips and information on what you need to do to renew.

We cover common questions on professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice, continuing professional development, and what to do if you have a change in your criminal history or health impairments you need to tell us about.

Latest workforce data released

The Board’s latest quarterly registration data report covers the period to 30 June 2023. At that date, there were 24,164 registered paramedics nationally. Of these, 23,582 had general registration and 582 had non-practising registration.

Paramedic numbers by gender (general and non-practising registration)

By gender, the national percentages are 49.1% female (11,874), 50.8% male (12,280) and <0.1% (10) not stated, intersex or indeterminate.

Paramedic numbers by age (general registration)

By age, the highest number of paramedics is in the 25-39-year group:

  • 25-29 (5,122)
  • 30-34 (4,271), and
  • 35-39 (3,032): 12,425 in total.

There are 2,492 paramedics under the age of 25.

The numbers of paramedics aged 40-69 are:

  • 40 to 44 (2,093)
  • 45-49 (1,947)
  • 50-59 (1,473)
  • 60-64 (802), and
  • 65-69 (256): 6,517 in total.

There are 41 paramedics aged 70-79.

For further data breakdowns by age, gender, registration type and principal place of practice, visit the Board’s Statistics page to read the report.


Regulation at work

Latest court and tribunal cases

We publish summaries of court and tribunal cases for their educational value to the profession.

Woman banned from registering as a paramedic after being jailed for Medicare-related fraud

A Western Australian woman jailed for Medicare-related fraud has been reprimanded, had her registration cancelled and has been disqualified from registering as a paramedic for a period of one year from 27 April 2023, the date of the State Administrative Tribunal of WA’s order.

She was charged by summons in February 2021 and failed to alert the Paramedicine Board of the charges within seven days as required under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law). She also failed to alert the Board within seven days of her subsequent conviction as required under the National Law. After learning of the conviction in September 2021, the Board suspended her registration immediately and referred the case to the tribunal.

Read more in the news item.


What's new?

Win for patient safety with ‘surgeon’ now a protected title

Only specialist surgeons can now call themselves ‘surgeon’ under new legislation to restrict the use of the title by registered medical practitioners. The change means that a medical practitioner will only be able to use the title ‘surgeon’ if they are registered in one of the recognised specialties of surgery.

The amendment to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law legally protects the title ‘surgeon' from being used by any doctor without the necessary qualifications and training. Before this, any registered medical practitioner could call themselves a surgeon, even if they were not registered in a surgical specialty or had not completed specialist training in surgery.

The move supports the work of Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia to clean up the cosmetic surgery industry, with only specialist doctors now able to call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, and complements the Medical Board’s introduction of an endorsement for cosmetic surgery. Both will help patients understand who is qualified and equip them to make informed choices.

Doctors who continue to use the title illegally may face criminal and/or regulatory action.

Read more in the news item.

Cosmetic procedures in the spotlight one year on from surgery review

Cosmetic procedures, including Botox and other anti-wrinkle injections and fillers, will be under the spotlight in an expansion of Ahpra’s year-long crackdown on Australia’s cosmetic surgery industry. Stronger public safeguards are needed because of escalating consumer demand for non-surgical cosmetic procedures and more health practitioners seeking a career in the cosmetics industry.

One year on from the cosmetic surgery review, work is complete on most reforms with higher practice standards and new advertising rules for medical practitioners now in place. Further reforms will focus on the non-surgical cosmetic procedures industry with new guidelines coming for all health practitioners providing these services.

The planned overhauls are likely to place a stronger emphasis on informed consent and pre-procedure consultation, including a patient suitability assessment. There will also be a focus on prescribing and administering prescription-only cosmetic injectables.

Proposed new advertising guidelines are likely to focus on the use of ‘before and after’ images, claims about expertise and qualifications of practitioners, and affirm the ban on the use of testimonials. There will also be clear rules on the use of influencers and social media figures.

Public consultation on the proposed guidelines will open in coming months ahead of their release in the first half of 2024.

Read more in the news item.

Check out the latest podcasts

Ahpra’s Taking care podcast series covers a wide range of current issues in patient safety and healthcare in conversation with health experts and other people in our community. Listen and subscribe by searching for Taking care in your podcast player (for example Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or listen on our website.

The latest episode is 'Coming to a land down under: Australia as a destination for health practitioners'. This ep. examines the path overseas health workers must tread when wanting to work in Australia.


National Scheme news

Click on the image below to visit the National Scheme newsletter page.

 

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Want more information?

  • Visit the Board’s website for fact sheets and FAQs that help answer common questions about paramedic registration, and professional standards, codes and guidelines.
  • For employers of paramedics, we have specific information to help you in the Fact sheet: Employer obligations under the National Law.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Professor Stephen Gough ASM, Chair, Paramedicine Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.
 

 

 
 
Page reviewed 4/10/2023