The College in the news
Paramedics are an untapped resource who are well placed to fill health service gaps in regional and remote communities, said Australasian College of Paramedicine Chair Ryan Lovett.
“Community paramedicine is really in an embryonic state in Australia, we can look to our colleagues in the UK and Canada to see the true potential,” he said.
“We've seen a few burgeoning community paramedic programmes in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. But there's a huge contribution that paramedicine can play to the primary health care gap.”
Paramedic Alecka Miles, Chair of the College's Rural, Remote and Community Paramedicine special interest group, said: "Paramedics are trained to deal with emergency situations, but it's more than that; we are actively involved in assisting the community with their healthcare needs, and are well placed to do that outside of an ambulance."
Mr Lovett said there was an oversupply of paramedicine graduates, with only about 70 percent finding jobs.
“We have highly qualified registered health practitioners, registered health professionals who are struggling to find work, and are well placed with a small additional amount of education to really help fill the primary health care gaps, especially in regional and remote communities.”
But community paramedicine falls into a funding blind spot because states fund ambulance services and the commonwealth funds primary health care.
“We've met with state health ministers and just as recently as last week; we've met with the Prime Minister's office to really help close this gap and bring a solution to the table to help regional and remote communities.”