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Australian medical council to be established

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News release from the Australian Minister for Health the Hon. Neal Blewett


The Federal Government has opened the door to the establish­

ment of an Australian Medical Council, a body which will take

over from a British organisation the job of accrediting Aust­

ralian medical schools and courses.

The Government has allocated $280 000 to establish the

Council and provide a secretariat for its first twelve months of


The Federal Minister for Health, Dr Neal Blewett, said

tonight the Council had been agreed to by the Australian Health

,Ministers' Conference.

Its role would be to:

. accredit Australian medical schools and courses

leading to basic medical qualifications; and

. make recommendations to State and Territory Medical

Boards concerning uniform approaches to registration

of medical practitioners.

It would also be involved in the assessment of the accept­

ability of overseas basic medical qualifications of individuals.

Dr Blewett said the accreditation function was at present

undertaken by the General Medical Council of Great Britain. This

would cease when the Australian Council began operations on 1 "

January next year..

Membership of the Council will comprise nominees from each

of the State and Territory Medical Boards and two representatives

from medical schools, together with the chairmen of two committees

being established to advise the Council. One committee will deal

with accreditation matters and the other with the examination of

overseas-trained medical practitioners to determine their suitab­

ility to practise in Australia.

Dr Blewett said all Health Ministers had agreed that the

Council was a desirable development which would bring scattered

functions together under one centralised body.

He said the Federal Government had agreed to meet establish­

ment costs and to fund the secretariat for the first year while

other methods of funding were considered.

CANBERRA, 21 August 1984