A NSW correspondent asks this timely question:

… in relation to the Health Services Amendment (Paramedics) Bill 2015 which comes into force at the start of next month. The bill states that:

For the purposes of this section, a paramedic is:

(a) a person who holds qualifications, or who has received training, or who has experience, prescribed by the regulations, or

My question to you is what are these qualifications, training or experience; and which regulations is the bill referring to? Also if one was to call themselves a ‘medic’, excluding the ‘para’, would this be a breach of this legislation?

As noted earlier, (see Protecting the title of paramedic in NSW (June 3, 2015)) the NSW Parliament passed the Health Services Amendment (Paramedics) Bill 2015 to protect the title of paramedic. As my correspondent has noted this wil come into force on 1 February. At that time the Health Services Amendment (Paramedic Qualifications) Regulation 2015 (NSW) will also come into force. That Bill defines the qualifications required to use the title ‘paramedic’. The Regulation says:

The following qualifications are prescribed for the purposes of section 67ZDA (2) (a) of the Act:

(a) a Bachelor of Paramedicine or a Graduate Diploma of Paramedicine conferred by a university,

(b) a nationally-recognised Diploma of Paramedicine issued by a registered training organisation.

Further

Paramedicine includes Clinical Practice (Paramedic), Emergency Health (Paramedic), Health Science (majoring in Paramedicine), Paramedic Practice, Paramedic Science and Science (majoring in Paramedicine).

Remember also that a person can use the title ‘paramedic’ if they are an employee of the Ambulance Service of NSW and are authorised by the Health Secretary to use that title (s 67ZDA(2)(c)).

Section 67ADA says ‘A person who is not a paramedic must not, in any way, hold himself or herself out to be a paramedic’.   Who or what is a paramedic is not defined except by the qualifications or employment status that the person holds. Calling yourself a ‘medic’ would not contravene the Act if you clearly distinguished it from a ‘paramedic’. I would think many people would think a ‘medic’ is a doctor but I also understand that the term is used differently, for example in the ADF.   The issue is however ‘holding’ oneself out not just the title. If you claimed to be a medic but said ‘I’m a medic, not a ‘paramedic’ but I can still do all the same stuff’ that might still be holding oneself ‘out’ as a paramedic.

Again this is an issue that could well be helped with national registration.   A paramedic would be nationally registered, you could call yourself a ‘medic’ and everyone would know that this was not the same as a registered paramedic.