07 Sep 2017
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and National Boards welcome the passage of legislative reforms to establish the Paramedicine Board of Australia and introduce additional measures to protect the public.
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was passed yesterday by the Queensland Parliament and is expected to gain assent in the coming weeks. The amendments will apply in all States and Territories except Western Australia (South Australia also needs to make a regulation to give effect to the amendments).
We also welcome the news that the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Western Australia has passed a corresponding amendment Bill (the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Amendment Bill 2017) which will now be considered by the Legislative Council.
The passing of the Bill in Queensland marks a significant day for health practitioner regulation as these are the first legislative amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law since the start of the National Scheme1 in 2010.
The changes to the National Law will enable the Paramedicine Board of Australia to be established with the appointment of inaugural board members by Health Ministers in the near future. Also, new measures that strengthen public protection will be introduced and there will be formal recognition of nursing and midwifery as two separate professions regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
Martin Fletcher AHPRA CEO welcomed the changes the updated Queensland legislation brings and expressed confidence that the new amendments will address a number of public safety concerns.
‘The amendments to the National Law will mean extra protection for the public when they see a registered health practitioner. The changes will strengthen our management of notifications so we can better meet community expectations of regulation to ensure patient safety.’
‘We welcome these changes to the National Law and look forward to the commencement of national registration of paramedicine in 2018,’ said Mr Fletcher.
The amendments include:
Decisions about proposed amendments to the National Law are made by Health Ministers and the governments of all States and Territories, with the changes progressed through the Queensland Parliament (as the host jurisdiction of the National Law), and the Western Australian Parliament. AHPRA has been working to support law makers in the process of considering amendments to the National Law.
AHPRA will work with National Boards, governments, health departments, professions and consumer representatives to support the implementation of the changes to the National Law into our daily operations.
1 National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).