The amendments to the National Law include:
- Changes to strengthen the management of complaints (notifications) and disciplinary enforcement powers of AHPRA and National Boards, including:
- Provision of practice information: A National Board may require a health practitioner to provide details of their practice arrangements, regardless of how they are engaged to practise. This will mean health practitioners that practise in multiple locations or under different employment, contractual or voluntary arrangements will be required under law to provide this information to their National Board when asked to do so.
- Public interest grounds for immediate action: Broadening the grounds by which a National Board may take immediate action against a health practitioner or student if it reasonably believes it is in the public interest.
- Extension of prohibition order powers: A responsible tribunal may issue a prohibition order to prohibit a health practitioner from providing any type of health service or using any protected or specified title. A breach of a prohibition order in any State or Territory will also become an offence with a maximum penalty of $30,000.
- Communication with notifiers: This change will improve communication for people who make a complaint or report concern to AHPRA and National Boards (notifiers) about a registered health practitioner’s health, performance or conduct. National Boards will now have the discretion to inform notifiers of a greater range of actions taken by the National Board in response to their complaint or concern and the reasons for their actions.
- Introduction of national regulation of paramedics: This will mean the establishment of the Paramedicine Board of Australia, with national registration of paramedics expected to commence in the second half of 2018.
- Recognising nursing and midwifery as separate professions: The National Law will be updated to recognise the two professions as separate. There is no plan to change the structure of the NMBA or for how nurses and midwives will interact with the Board.
To read AHPRA’s media release, click here.