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National registration and accreditation for health professionals a step closer.



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Queensland Government media release Paul Lucas - Deputy Premier and Minister for Health 10 July 2009

NATIONAL REGISTRATION AND ACCREDITATION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS A STEP CLOSER

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas today invited stakeholders to have their say on the proposed national registration and accreditation scheme for health professionals.

“This scheme seeks to establish for the first time ever a consistent set of national standards and processes for registering individual health professionals,” Mr Lucas said.

“Queensland will be providing the model legislation all other Australian health jurisdictions will use to introduce the registration and accreditation scheme by 1 July 2010.”

Currently health professional registration is the responsibility of individual state and territory governments.

“We know from past experience that requirements for registration vary across jurisdictions and the professions required to be registered to practice also differ.

“Increasingly health professionals move from one state to another or from overseas. In the 21st century we must have one system of checks across Australia that makes moving more straightforward.

“A consistent approach offers greater protection to the general public by ensuring all registered health practitioners are suitably trained and qualified to practice - so there is just one set of rules.

“We’ve seen from past tragedies throughout Australia that health practitioners who are disciplined in one state or overseas can sometimes escape checks and start in a new state; which is a serious threat to patient safety.

“That’s why Queensland is driving the development of a national scheme and is pleased to be hosting the legislation that will create it,” Mr Lucas said.

Parliament will debate the Bill later this year and on July 1 next year ten professions will transfer into the scheme.

The ten professions transferring on 1 July next year, as agreed by all states and territories, include: Medicine; Nursing and Midwifery; Pharmacy; Physiotherapy; Dental (dentists, dental prosthetists, therapists, and hygienists); Psychology; Optometry; Osteopathy; Chiropractic; and Podiatry.

From 1 July 2012 three other professions will also transfer, including: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice; Chinese Medicine; and Medical Radiation Practice.

Mr Lucas said he would be pursuing the addition of professions currently registered in Queensland into the national scheme and would be discussing this with his interstate colleagues. These include dental technicians, speech pathologists and occupational therapists.

“The Queensland Government does not want to unregister professions not included in the national scheme,” Mr Lucas said.

“We will continue to ensure that currently registered professions in Queensland not included in the national scheme remain registered here.”

The creation of the scheme will bring together thirty-seven different health profession regulation authorities and over eighty regulatory boards across Australia into one scheme.

“A single system of health profession regulation is an obvious approach and signifies a quantum leap forward in Australian health regulation,” Mr Lucas said.

Media contact: Chelsea Toomey 0408 701 409