Just what are paramedics?
Paramedics are highly skilled medical professionals. They regularly attend GP clinics, medical centres, even emergency departments: not to transport patients in and out but to manage acute, life threatening conditions. Paramedics are widely considered amongst doctors, nurses and other medical professionals as ‘Emergency Medicine Specialists’.
This is because Paramedics see and treat more life threatening cardiac, respiratory, anaphylactic, neurological and perfusion related emergencies than anyone else. Many of the patients Paramedics treat would not live long enough to get to hospital without their skilled intervention.
Qualification as a Paramedic now requires 3 years of university study, with a fourth year in a role similar to an intern. While Paramedics in other states have achieved professional rates of pay, reflecting this higher learning and dedication, In most States, Paramedics are not yet recognised by their Government as professionals. This is reflected in the pay rates. For example, an experienced Paramedic in Victoria is paid a full third less than one in Western Australia.
Paramedics have always prided themselves on being amongst best in the world. They work long and hard to maintain their skills and knowledge, valuing the profession they chose and the community they serve. State and Federal Governments must acknowledge this commitment and professionalism, and reward their efforts with professional recognition and the pay scale that these hardworking individuals deserve.