Paramedics comprised the largest growth in Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) registrants in 2021/2021, with a total of 21,492, up 8.3% on 2019/2020.
The Ahpra 2020/2021 annual report observed continued growth in the registered health workforce. As of 30 June 2021, there were 825,720 registered health practitioners across 16 regulated professions, 24,061 more than last year, up 3%. This included 26,595 health practitioners on the 2020 pandemic sub-register, which offers a surge workforce for the health system response to COVID-19. Overall, 75% of registered practitioners were women.
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander participation in the regulated health professions was 1.1%. Paramedicine had the second highest representation with 1.7% of their workforce identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
Two pieces of work critical to the implementation of the regulation of paramedics were completed and published in the reporting year. The Professional capabilities for paramedicine practitioners (the professional capabilities) and Standards for accreditation of paramedicine education programs (the accreditation standards) were both approved and came into effect on 1 June.
The professional capabilities identify the knowledge, skills and professional attributes needed to safely and competently practise as a paramedic in Australia, as well as complementing the accreditation standards that are used to support and guide the delivery of education and training programs for paramedics.
Paramedicine Board Chair Professor Stephen Gough ASM said the work done by the Paramedicine Accreditation Committee to develop, consult upon and submit the accreditation standards for approval was outstanding.
In addition, the Paramedicine Accreditation Committee monitored 26 Board-approved programs and started to accredit these programs against newly developed paramedicine accreditation standards from 1 July 2021.
“Registered health practitioners have done exceptional work in very challenging times,” said Ahpra CEO, Martin Fletcher. “It is very encouraging to see the continued growth in the number of health practitioners over the past year. Now more so than ever, we all appreciate the critical role that these health practitioners play in keeping us all safe.”
Top 10 facts from Ahpra’s 2020/2021 annual report:
Download the Ahpra 2020/2021 annual report here.