I recently received an email from @arban70, mentor, consultant and all around tireless worker for Paramedics Australasia (PA). Subject? Paramedic Services: Who are the Stakeholders?
So – who are they? Those that run them? Those that fund them? Those that use them?
I believe (and so do many others) that we all are – Paramedics are there to treat and care for anyone in need of their assistance. You never know if you or someone close to you will ever need their services soon – which makes us all stakeholders.
The writingwas in regards to the consultation of the approaching Australian Paramedic Registration. Reading it, I believe the text is too important, relevant and in a way timeless to stay tucked away in peoples electronic postboxes – so here it is for all to read:
The strange interpretation of a stakeholder by various Health Departments and ambulance
services in the consultation exercise does not greatly surprise me – but it does sadden me to see the myopic view of healthcare and the inability to think outside the box.
it seems indeed has a varied meaning little related to the dictionary term or the common
meaning applied to the word.
I suggest that the following message be used to engage as many people as possible
into the debate including the ultimate stakeholder – the patient (i.e. the public). Mums
Dads, family members, students and all … there are about 22.3M of them.
So use this rationale for the engagement of real stakeholders…
Every person who is a stakeholder may respond to the consultation and indeed, the
more who do so from outside the ‘system’ the more powerful will be the message.
So ANYONE may respond because the primary concern is the protection of the public (EMS policy has been notably short on real client engagement unfortunately).
Obtaining 1000 or 5000 responses from the public would be wonderful. The paramedic services sector is admittedly poorly-defined and statistical data is unreliable because of the absence of a harmonised regulatory structure. It consists in broad terms of:
- 140 or more private and statutory employers across Australia at various levels
- 15 – 20000 Paramedics or related personnel (depending on definition)
- 1000 Australian Defence Force medics
- 6000 tertiary-level university students across some 14 universities (2013 estd.)
- Undergraduate and Postgraduate educational programs and research activities nationally
- A myriad of inter-professional practice settings with other health professions, and
- A client base of about 22.3 million Australians in various jurisdictions
When it comes to matters of public policy and healthcare delivery (such as this), it is thus very clear that the stakeholders in the matter of paramedic registration, and their interaction and integration with the health workforce go far beyond the interests of the statutory and contracted service providers or even the professional body PA. The issues involve matters of community services, access and equity, national security and disaster readiness, funding and above all, the public interest.
PA is conscious of the public interest in healthcare delivery which encompasses patient engagement in various forms such as the objective assessment of fitness to practice, complaint investigation and monitoring, service performance with open reporting of KPIs, and safety and quality performance – to mention just some of the areas in which there is a professional and public interest.
Even within the constraints of a limited consultation, these factors justify a wider-ranging consultation process that extends beyond the obvious matter of practitioner or employer involvement.
In summary, Paramedics Australasia has made it clear that a broad and balanced consultation is needed that recognises best practice in policy development and execution through real stakeholder engagement.
As potential patients, that means you and me.