Legislative amendments to protect patients and paramedics

Improved safeguards for Tasmanian patients and paramedics form the cornerstone of amendments tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament.

The Ambulance Service Amendment Bill 2013 will ensure paramedics can safely go about their work and that Tasmanians can have confidence in the services they receive.

The amendments will:

  • Define the role of paramedics and clearly distinguish between emergency response services and other forms of patient services such as non-emergency patient transport and first aid.
  • Provide a licensing and regulatory framework for non-emergency patient transport.
  • Strengthen provisions dealing with offences against the Ambulance Service.
  • Permit forced entry to premises in emergency situations to reach someone requiring emergency assistance.
  • Expand the offence of representing a motor vehicle as an ambulance to include unauthorised use of Ambulance Tasmania insignia, logo or uniforms and all types of vehicles as well as persons.
  • Increase the penalty for false ambulance calls from 10 to 100 penalty units.

The Bill also introduces of a range of new offences against ambulance officers and volunteers.

Assaulting, resisting, impeding or failing to comply with the direction of an ambulance officer will be specific offences under the legislation.

Just as Ambulance Tasmania is required to meet certain standards, non-emergency transport providers will now be required to meet a certain skill and competency level.

The amendments provide for a licensing and regulatory regime for non-emergency patient transport providers.

Patients, no matter what their circumstance, need to be assured that their provider meets certain standards.