Government urged to pay bursary to student paramedics

Labour is calling on ministers to pay a bursary to those studying to become paramedics.

The Scottish Government is facing demands to support student paramedics amid claims many are “living on the breadline”.

Labour is calling on ministers to pay a bursary to those studying to become paramedics, in the same way that payments are given to student nurses and midwives.

Party education spokesman Iain Gray insisted it was “unacceptable” that student paramedics are losing out.

The Scottish Government previously announced nursing and midwifery students would receive a bursary of £10,000 in 2020-21, with the cash designed to help with the costs of accommodation and living expenses.

Gray said: “Student paramedics are vital to the running of our NHS and have met the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic head-on.

“We cannot thank them enough for their efforts, and yet many student paramedics are living on the breadline.

“This is unacceptable. It is time for the Scottish Government to recognise the vital and selfless work that student paramedics do and provide them with a bursary.

“Student paramedics help those in need selflessly and on a daily basis: they deserve a fair deal.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We understand the challenges faced and concerns raised by paramedic students and the potential additional costs incurred during their time studying at university and that is why we are reviewing the education provided to Allied Health Professionals, including paramedics, and financial support will be considered as part of this review.”