Dear Health Minister,

The above agency was an initiative of the first Rudd Labor Government and the ADF believes it should be subject to an urgent review.

The introduction of the Health Ombudsman Act in Queensland amounts to a dramatic vote of no confidence in the above agency, which answers to nine health ministers, and therefore to no-one.

Rather than see our medical registration fees reduce, we are seeing fees progressively increase as the bureaucracy expands. This is not simply a matter of cost concern on our part. It is a sign that the efficiencies we were promised with the new system are not being delivered, a very bad indicator for future cost blowouts.

Most importantly, in the case of the medical profession, AHPRA and the National Medical Board are a post office and recycling agency for State Medical Committees (Boards) who still have to do the work. What we have seen is a massive overlay of the old system. A new computer system has been devised but this did not need the creation of a bureaucracy like AHPRA and could be run from any state.

All governments have made public commitments to reducing red tape and ensuring that health dollars are directed to front line services. It is time to act on this rhetoric and return the registration and regulation of the Australian Medical Profession back to the States who do the work, and back under the direct responsibility of State and Territory Health Ministers.

Non-medical health practitioners may wish to remain in a national structure, however as far as the medical profession is concerned, it is of no value whatsoever to have a growing bureaucracy creating more and more regulations in an already overregulated environment.

I ask you to show leadership and return medical registration and regulation back to State and Territory jurisdictions.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Bruce Shepherd AM
Australian Doctors’ Fund