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Community Paramedicine

Did you hear of the new and emerging model called “Community paramedicine’ or ‘Community Paramedics’?

It is a relatively new model but the pressure on the health systems is leading to the development of this innovative model that is said to improve outcomes, build community relationships, and reduce health care disparities.

It is a well-known fact that the pandemic has put a lot of strain on the health facilities as well as ambulance services across the globe.

According to Kristine Kuhl, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) community paramedic coordinator, “Community paramedicine can fill gaps in the existing health care system”.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Paramedicine at Monash University Bill Lord says there is a place for community paramedics in Australia.

“This is already becoming mainstream in the UK where you’ve got paramedics working in GP services doing home visits,” he said.

“If you can relieve distressing symptoms in the persons home it is cost-effective, it reduces demand on other health services, it reduces demand on [the] health department. There are a whole lot of positive flow-on effects from providing care in the community where appropriate.”

The evidence at this early stage suggests that Community Paramedics can reduce costs and improve outcomes for the communities’ residents as Community paramedics can treat people for non-life-threatening medical issues at home.

This can also help reduce demand on ambulances and hospitals.

This program is already underway in Victoria by HMS Collective and is proving to be very cost-effective. According to HMS Collective, for a  patient to be transported by a Victorian Ambulance, metropolitan patients are charged $1,284 while regional patients will pay $1,894 if they do not have a concession or Ambulance Victoria membership.

HMS Collective, charges $82-an-hour for a registered paramedic to come to your home, and is currently funded by the NDIS, aged care packages or directly by patients.

To find out more about it, you can check the information published by ABC on the following page here.

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