ADF Doctor’s Call For AHPRA To Be Sacked – 24 February 2011

“The medical profession should no longer allow itself and its medical boards to be “managed” by the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA),” spokesman for the Australian Doctors’ Fund, Dr Stan Doumani said in Canberra today.

Prior to the Rudd Government’s decision to place all health professions and occupations under the control of a central bureaucracy known as AHPRA, the medical profession had a functional registration scheme administered by state medical boards with each state and territory health minister being held accountable to their respective parliament.

Now, we have a bureaucracy (AHPRA) which is not accountable to any single minister or jurisdiction. It answers to 9 health ministers, a recipe for confusion.

This is yet another example of the old maxim ‘that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, Dr Doumani said.

Our medical practitioner’s registration system was not broken; it worked well except for the need for doctors working in more than one state to register to two boards. This could have been easily fixed with an upgrade of the national computer registration system known as the National Compendium of Medical Registries

A/Prof Amanda McBride said in Sydney, “Since AHPRA was created our medical registration fees have doubled, and the registration process has become a lottery for doctors. This creates uncertainty for patients whose doctor may not be registered due to no fault of his/her own”.

“It is unbelievable that our new Medical Board of Australia (MBA) must take its instructions from AHPRA. This means that it is little more than a website when it should be independently overseeing medical registration standards,” Dr McBride said.

Dr Doumani said, “It’s time for the legislation to be changed so that the Medical Board of Australia is entirely independent of AHPRA. Its role should be to maintain a national register of medical practitioners leaving state medical boards to fulfil their traditional role as they are both accountable to one jurisdiction and closer to the issues they regulate”.