Health Minister Kim Hames today welcomed a resolution by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council to move towards a national registration of paramedics under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
Dr Hames said he first proposed national paramedic registration in 2010 and was delighted progress was finally being made after receiving support of all States and Territories, except New South Wales who reserved their right. The Commonwealth dissented.
"I have been a strong supporter of paramedics becoming a registered health profession under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and have been pursuing this for the last five years," he said.
"The Western Australian Department of Health has undertaken extensive research, analysis and national consultation in reviewing options for regulation of paramedics, so with the support of other Health Ministers today, I am looking forward to progressing this important initiative."
The Minister said under proposed changes, only people who met approved and nationally consistent educational and practitioner standards would be able to call themselves a paramedic.
"Ensuring paramedics are registered as part of a national registration scheme, in which they are qualified to an approved standard, ensures the public is provided a higher level of protection," he said.
"The next step is for the States and Territories to prepare details of the relevant legislation changes which will be reviewed by the Health Ministers at the next COAG meeting in March 2016."
There are currently about 13,000 paramedics working in Australia
The national registration of paramedics is supported by Paramedics Australasia
Minister's office - 6552 5300