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Health service providers

Regulation of paramedics in Queensland

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (National Scheme) was established in 2010. More than 650,000 practitioners from 14 registered health professions are currently regulated nationally. Under the National Scheme, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the 14 national boards work together to ensure that practitioners are appropriately qualified and competent to practise as a registered health profession.

Health service complaints regulation in Queensland

In Queensland, there is a co-regulatory system for registered health practitioners. Regulation is shared between the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) and AHPRA (and the national boards).

AHPRA has sole responsibility for managing practitioner registration.

The OHO is responsible for receiving all complaints about health service organisations and health practitioners—including registered and unregistered practitioners, who have different laws and rules relating to how they must practise and what action the Office of the Health Ombudsman can take if a complaint is made about them.

A proportion of complaints made to the OHO relating to registered practitioners are referred to AHPRA for management. These are generally less serious matters, or parts of a complaint that are best managed by AHPRA. All other complaints are handled by the OHO.

Current regulation of paramedics

Currently, in Queensland, paramedics are considered unregistered practitioners. This means the OHO is able to deal with serious complaints relating to paramedics by taking action such as instigating local resolution or conciliation to address concerns raised by a complainant, or by issuing an interim prohibition order—which restricts or prohibits a paramedic from providing a particular, or any, health service.

Registration of paramedics

On 6 November 2015, the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (the Ministerial Council) announced its intention for paramedics to be regulated as part of the National Scheme. On 7 October 2016, the Ministerial Council agreed to proceed with the inclusion of paramedics in the National Scheme and noted that paramedics would be registered in all jurisdictions.

At this stage, registration of paramedics is expected to commence around September 2018.

Future regulation of paramedics

From the date that registration of paramedics commences they will be considered registered practitioners and complaints made to the Office of the Health Ombudsman about paramedics will be treated as such.

There is more information available on this website for health service providers who’d like to know more about the health service complaints process in Queensland.