At the COAG Health Council meeting on 7 October 2016, Health Ministers agreed to proceed with amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law) to bring paramedics into the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professions, alongside 14 other regulated health professions.
A draft amendment bill is expected to be brought forward to Ministers for approval early in 2017.
The Health Ministers also agreed to extend the current exemption from holding professional indemnity insurance (PII) for homebirths available to privately practicing midwives to 31 December 2019.
The Ministers agreed that in conjunction with the extension of the PII exemption, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia will be asked to undertake an audit of all privately practising midwives who provide homebirth services, and to bring a report on the operation of the Board’s Safety and Quality Guidelines for Privately Practising Midwives and the results of the audit to Health Ministers at the end of 12 months of operation of the Guidelines.
With respect to chiropractors, the Ministers agreed to ask for information from the Chiropractors Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for evidence of any treatments provided by chiropractors that are not appropriately within the chiropractic scope of practice and may be harmful to patients, together with advice on potential regulatory responses.
To read the full communique of the major matters discussed at the meeting, click here.