Former Productivity Commissioner, Prof Judith Sloan has described AHPRA as “yet another federal cock-up”. She said, “The idea for a national registration and regulation of all healthcare professionals was always loopy, a solution in search of a problem and one of the poorer ideas of the Productivity Commission”. Prof Sloan is not wrong. The ADF maintains that the idea of a bureaucracy which has 600,000 health professionals under its control, not being accountable to any single jurisdiction should cause all legislators, state and federal of all political parties, grave concern. The model of AHPRA is flawed and will eventually disintegrate despite there being many dedicated public servants who do their job diligently within its ranks. The ADF supports a national register for doctors, but does not support the unaccountable bureaucracy that is packaged under the label ‘National Registration and Accreditation Scheme’ (NRAS) and has rapidly increased the costs of medical registration whilst disenfranchising many of our senior doctors by abolishing state based limited registration schemes. A bureaucracy that has no direct accountability and seeks to widen its powers and influence to all areas of a health professional’s life including demands that it be allowed to tap the private conversations of doctors and patients, should be critically examined. The ADF notes that many of the recommendations of the recent Snowball Review of AHPRA have been ‘deferred’. The ADF maintains that the Australian medical profession is better served by well-resourced active state based medical boards who can use a national register (computer database) for simultaneous registration without the need of national boards who (in partnership with the AHPRA board) spend their time pumping out edicts, guidelines and greater demands for compliance with the latest overseas regulatory fad to maintain relevance and job security. How did the Australian medical profession survive before AHPRA?

Media Release – 25/02/2016

Dr Kerry Breen is spot on about AHPRA

Calls by the former President of the Medical Practitioners Board of VIC and the Australian Medical Council, Dr Kerry Breen for Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to be ‘neutered’ have been endorsed by the Australian Doctors’ Fund (ADF).

Dr Breen has published a paper in the Australian Health Review which has been featured in the Medical Observer.

Director for the ADF, Dr Aniello Iannuzzi said, “The ADF asserted before AHPRA’s inception that it was a flawed model.”

This model has created an unaccountable bureaucracy responsible for 600,000 health professionals. It answers to a committee of public servants who advise a committee of 9 health ministers.

Dr Breen has outlined the AHPRA model’s flawed performance in regards to registration fees, investigations by people with no medical qualifications, confusion over the role of AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and the lack of procedural fairness in relation to appeals for cautions.

The ADF maintains that AHPRA was never needed in order to operate a national medical register. This computer program can be operated by any agency including state medical boards (who, prior to AHPRA used the National Compendium of Medical Registries).

Most importantly the ADF maintains that where medical boards are under state and territory jurisdiction, there is direct accountability to the state or territory Minister for Health and hence a process of accountability for both the public and the medical profession.

Interestingly a recent independent review by senior public servant, Mr Kim Snowball recommended the amalgamation of 9 of the national boards described as ‘low regulatory’. But this appears to have been strangled by the bureaucracy. The ADF maintains that Mr Snowball’s recommendations amount to an admission that the AHPRA model is flawed.

The ADF congratulates Dr Breen for having the courage to speak out on this issue.


Dr Aniello Iannuzzi
Australian Doctors’ Fund
0417 494 528

Stephen Milgate
Director & CEO
Australian Doctors’ Fund
(02) 9567 5595
0425 283 411