ADF – Media Release – 8 August 2011

A meeting of doctors at St George Leagues Club on Sunday 7 August, sponsored by the Australian Doctors’ Fund, has voted 164 for and 2 against to support the creation of a new optional category of registration for doctors over 55 years of age, to encourage them to stay involved in their profession.

Chairman of the meeting, Dr Peter Catts said, “Recent changes to medical registration by the newly created federal health bureaucracy, AHPRA 1, have resulted in doctors leaving the general register not being able to move to an occasional practice registration category as was available under the previous system. Further, those doctors granted occasional practice registration will be removed from the register in 2013. This is crazy.”

“As Chairman, I was very pleased at the solid turn out for this meeting. We have had doctors from Melbourne and Brisbane attending. This issue will not go away and our campaign for a better deal for Senior Doctors has only just begun,” Dr Catts said.

The motion2 put to the meeting called on all health ministers to support the creation of a new category of registration called ‘Senior Active’ which would provide step-down provisions for those doctors moving from full time practice who want to continue to contribute to the profession.

The President of the RACGP, Professor Claire Jackson, has described senior doctors as “the giants of our profession”3, and Federal AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, has called them “an excellent resource for teaching and excellent resources for training”4.

Executive Director of the ADF Mr Milgate said that political support for the ADF Senior Active Doctors proposal was growing. “From those health ministers who have taken the time to consider the ADF proposal for Senior Active Doctors, we have had a positive response in writing. The Australian Senate has also called for this problem to be fixed.”

Dr Peter Catts said, “The ADF calls on all doctors and medical groups to support a new category of registration for our senior doctors. This can be a win-win for the medical profession, and the Australian community.”

Contact: Stephen Milgate, Executive Director ADF 02 9567 5595, 0425 283 411

1. Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency

2. “This meeting calls on all State, territory and Federal Ministers of Health and Shadow Ministers of Health and all parliamentarians to support a category of medical registration for Senior Active Doctors in accordance with the stated public policy position of all parties encouraging senior Australians to continue to participate in the Australian workforce”

3. Senate Inquiry into AHPRA, 2011

4. Senate Inquiry into AHPRA, 2011