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National systems of recognition for health professions



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Australian Health Ministers' Conference

MEDIA RELEASE 8

NATIONAL SYSTEMS OF RECOGNITION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS

The Australian Health Ministers' Conference today announced a strategy for introducing national systems for the recognition of all health professions across state and territory boundaries.

The new arrangements will eliminate inefficiencies caused by the lack of uniformity between States and Territories; remove discriminatory restrictions on the movement of health professionals; and improve the level of protection for the community.

Chairman of the Health Ministers' conference and SA Health Minister, Dr Don Hopgood, said the strategy will begin by introducing a national system for the recognition of doctors and move towards introducing similar systems for nurses and other registered health professions.

The national system for doctors will provide automatic recognition in all States and Territories:

. for doctors who have graduated from Australian medical schools and satisfactorily completed their intern training and for doctors who have met similar requirements in New Zealand;

. for overseas trained doctors who have met the requirements of the Australian Medical Council; and

. for all doctors currently in unrestricted practice throughout Australia.

The ministers also agreed that a national medical data-base register would be established to facilitate the mutual recognition system. This will overcome long-standing information deficiencies which have made medical workforce planning difficult in Australia. The responsibility for the

registration requirements will remain in the states and territories.

The Australian Nursing Registration Authorities Conference will be asked to report by the end of May on the options and timing for the establishment of an Australian Nursing Council and a national system for the recognition of nurses.

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The Health Ministers agreed this would enhance the professional status of nurses and better recognise the major contribution nurses make to health care across state and territory jurisdiction.

The details of national systems of mutual recognition for other registered health professionals would be decided after the Health Ministers considered a working party report due to be completed at the end of May.

These developments are consistent with the decisions of the October 1990 Special Premiers' Conference to introduce national systems for occupational and professional recognition to improve the mobility and flexibility of the Australian workforce.

Further more information: Marilyn Chalkley Tony Nagy AHMC Secretariat (08) 210 6782