Giving Paramedics New Skills And Rural Communities Better Care

10 October 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is expanding the role of paramedics working in rural communities to improve patient care when an emergency strikes.

Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy today unveiled the Advanced Paramedic Roles Implementation Pilot, which will trial new roles for paramedics in rural communities.

The advanced paramedic roles will be trialled in new settings such as urgent care and primary care, complementing the work of GPs, nurse practitioners and other health workers.

The pilot will see paramedics go beyond their traditional roles responding to emergency cases – offering new career pathways and other opportunities. It will give rural communities better access to care when they need it.

The paramedic practitioner role is an innovative way of providing healthcare to small rural communities, where paramedics will work with community partners to prevent health problems before they become life-threatening.

The pilot will involve interested Paramedic Community Support Coordinators who work in small rural communities across Victoria. Paramedic Community Support Coordinators are professional paramedics who provide emergency care, but also provide training to first responders such as Ambulance Community Officers.

There are now 16 Paramedic Community Support Coordinators working across rural Victoria, with recent additions based at Ouyen, Manangatang, Donald, Beaufort, Nagambie and Sale. Others are based at Tallangatta, Alexandra, Neerim South, Lavers Hill, Coleraine, Stawell, Omeo, Mallacoota, Hopetoun and Wedderburn.

The advanced paramedic pilot is the first step towards the establishment of a paramedic practitioner role in Victoria. Ms Hennessy will use this week’s COAG Health Council to urge the Paramedicine Board of Australia to develop a national model, including standards of practice and education requirements.

The advanced paramedic and paramedic practitioner role will work in partnership with other professions, including our hard-working and valued general practitioners and nurse practitioners, to provide quality health care in rural communities.

The Labor Government’s $500 million plan has repaired the ambulance crisis left by the former Liberal National Government, who went to war with paramedics and let response times become the worst on the mainland.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“We know small, rural communities have their own unique healthcare needs and challenges. Our ambulance service is evolving to better meet these needs – both now and into the future.”

“Advanced paramedics will work hand-in-hand with local communities to build local First Responder skills and better educate the community about health and wellbeing.”

“We’re giving paramedics new opportunities to learn new skills and advance their careers.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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