Fellow commentator on all things Paramedic – The Paramedic Observer – reports on the introduction of the Tasmanian Health Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2022. He says:

An important legislative development in Tasmania with the Tasmanian Health Minister Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP Second Reading Speech on the Health Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2022. https://bit.ly/3MXqa2o

Second Reading Speech (Draft) https://bit.ly/3Fr8JVd

Fact Sheet for Bill 19: https://bit.ly/3sEOXRd

Text of Amendment Bill: https://bit.ly/38bsVhB

While the Fact Sheet says the amendments are technical in nature they are very significant in a fundamental respect by removing the definition of paramedic from the Ambulance Service Act and inserting a new definition for the term “paramedic” in the Acts Interpretation Act 1931.

The new definition for “paramedic” in the Acts Interpretation Act will give the term universal application throughout Tasmanian legislation and remove the need to define the term separately in any other Tasmanian legislation (unless specifically needed).

The significance of these changes is that the definition of paramedic is the same as that in the National Law – and is no longer linked to an historical title or employment with an ambulance service.

The amendments follow a call for such changes in recent submissions and a similar move in Victoria which the Observer reported last month. https://bit.ly/3LZdEzq

The Observer extends thanks to those within the Tasmanian health system who have helped to introduce this change that brings the recognition of paramedicine into line with the contemporary legal registration framework for health practitioners.

Tasmania introduced a definition of ‘paramedic’ before registration in order to protect the use of that title. I have previously written on the definition which, until the passage of this Bill, remains as part of the Ambulance Services Act 1982 (Tas) s 3B – see New law for ambulance services in Tasmania – Update (September 7, 2013). If this Bill passes s 3B will be repealed and the term ‘paramedic’ will, for all Tasmanian law including the Ambulance Services Act, mean:

… a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Tasmania) in the paramedicine profession;

I agree with the Paramedic Observer – this is a significant change to recognise paramedics are registered health professionals and to remove the link ‘to an historical title or employment with an ambulance service.’

This blog is made possible with generous financial support from the Australasian College of Paramedicine, the Australian Paramedics Association (NSW), Natural Hazards Research Australia, NSW Rural Fire Service Association and the NSW SES Volunteers Association. I am responsible for the content in this post including any errors or omissions. Any opinions expressed are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or understanding of the donors.