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Report on AHPRA handed down

Transition to national registration “too much, too soon, too quick”, finds inquiry.

AHPRA should apologise to any practitioner who was mistakenly deregistered as a result of problems during the transition to a national registration system, and reimburse them for any loss of direct payments.

This is the first of 10 recommendations included in a report by the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee, which found the implementation of the new national regime was “far from well managed.”

The report also said the timeframes and staging of the implementation process were inappropriate for what was a complex task.

Welcoming the Senates scrutiny of the early implementation of the national scheme, Peter Allen, chair of AHPRA, said the inquiry “did not identify any new issues that were not already being addressed by AHPRA.”

“The national scheme is a world-first regulatory reform of unprecedented scope and ambition.

While the transition period was not as smooth as we had hoped, that chapter is now behind us,” Allen said in a statement.

For a full copy of the report go to www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/fapa_ctte/health_practitioner_registration/report/index.htm

1. AHPRA should issue a letter of apology to practitioners who were deregistered because of the problems revealed by the inquiry and, where it is established a lapse or delay in registration took place, AHPRA should reimburse practitioners for any loss of direct Medicare payments.
2. AHPRA should rectify any situation where a practitioner is left liable due to their professional indemnity insurance lapsing, or being voided, during a period where they were deregistered by AHPRA’s administrative failings.
3. The federal government should seek the support of the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to undertake a regular review of the registration of overseas trained health practitioners.
4. Key Performance Indicators should be established in relation to the registration of overseas trained health practitioners and AHPRA provide detailed information on this matter in its annual report.
5. Complaints processing within AHPRA to be reviewed to ensure more accurate reporting of notifications and to reduce the impact of vexatious complaints on health practitioners.
6. The federal government should seek the support of the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to identify and establish mechanisms to improve the accountability of AHPRA to the parliaments of all jurisdictions and the Australian public.
7. AHPRA, as a matter of urgency, should establish consultative groups with professional organisations and health providers.
8. The National Law to be amended to provide AHPRA with the discretion to grant a grace period where a health practitioner faces deregistration as a result of administrative error by AHPRA.
9. The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to amend the National Law to provide further practicing classifications for practitioners in academic institutions and for those who practise in a limited manner.
10. The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to implement a review of the mandatory notifications requirements and in particular take into account the Western Australia model of mandatory reporting.

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