Paramedics provide pre-clinical treatment to people who find themselves in an emergency, crisis or risk situation. In emergency medical and ambulance settings, they often perform diagnostics in difficult conditions and under tremendous time pressure. They have to make decisions and take action required to relieve suffering and save a person’s life. Moreover, emergency medical services are on call at important gatherings and respond when major incidents occur. The range of activities is therefore very diversified.
Whether or not (and in what form) important activities may be carried out in the future depends to a large extent on the skilled labour situation, which can only be assessed if there is a reliable and systematic national database showing how many people work in this field and what qualifications they hold. This data must then be broken down according to region and type of emergency medical services provided. Planning of measures to ensure needs-based training, recruitment and hiring of qualified paramedics would be easier if this information were made available.
In order to gather this information at national level, the Swiss Health Observatory (Obsan) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET) have launched a study with the support of the Swiss Paramedics Association (VRS) and the Emergency Medical Services Association (IVR). The consulting firm B,S,S. Economic Consultants had been commissioned to conduct a survey of emergency medical services in Switzerland and to analyse the data.