ADF – 8 November 2012

“The Victorian Government and Health Minister, David Davis are to be congratulated for their leadership in establishing a parliamentary inquiry into Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA),” spokesman for the Australian Doctors Fund, Dr Stan Doumani said in Canberra today.

It’s about time someone started asking hard questions about this new bureaucracy which has driven up the cost of medical registration whilst passing the work back to state based registration bodies.

A new layer of bureaucracy has been inserted over the previous state medical board structure driving up expenses.

“Most concerning is that fact that AHPRA answers to 9 health ministers leaving its bureaucracy virtually unaccountable. There are now six layers of structure between a registered doctor and a State Minister for Health. This is the opposite of efficiency”, Dr Doumani said.

The ADF has always warned that the AHPRA model was built for ideological reasons, not efficiency reasons. As far as the medical profession is concerned, a simple computer upgrade of the existing National Compendium of Medical Registries and a strengthening of the Joint Medical Boards Advisory Committee would have achieved more uniformity in state registration at a fraction of the cost.

We now have 500,000 health workers in one centralised bureaucracy, but nothing has changed. The illusion is that one centralised bureaucracy will create a blended homogenous health workforce.

The reality is that real differences in the way each profession works need to be recognised. We have different roles, but can still work together. We don’t need a big bureaucracy to “herd the cats”, Dr Doumani said.

“There is substantial concern over the future of the Doctors Health Advisory programs run by the states. It is essential that local support be given to potentially impaired doctors. These doctors must be able to obtain confidential help before major problems arise,” Dr Doumani said.

The ADF looks forward to making submissions to this important Inquiry. The ADF submission to the previous AHPRA Senate inquiry is available at .

Contact details:
Dr Stan Doumani (02) 6288 6008
Mr Stephen Milgate (02) 9567 1064 0425 283 411