January 2018

Update Medical Board of Australia

 

Call for applications

Medical Board vacancies: national, state and territory

Applications are sought from registered medical practitioners and members of the community to fill multiple upcoming vacancies on the following medical boards due to the scheduled expiry of terms of appointment:

  • Medical Board of Australia (National Board) – 12 vacancies (practitioner and community members) and the Chair position
  • New South Wales Board – four practitioner members and two community members
  • Queensland Board – one practitioner member
  • South Australian Board – one practitioner member and the Chair position
  • Victorian Board – one practitioner member

Applications for the National Board close Monday 19 February 2018.

Applications for the state and territory boards close Monday 26 February 2018.

Further information is available on the Medical Board website (National Board vacancies and state and territory board vacancies).

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Members appointed to state and territory medical boards

New board members appointed in Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory

New members have been appointed to three state and territory medical boards.

New board members have been announced in Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory. The following members are appointed:  

State or territory medical board Members
Victoria Dr Debra O'Brien (practitioner member and Chair)
Mrs Jennifer Barr (community member)
Dr Christine Bessell (practitioner member)
Dr John Carnie PSM (practitioner member)
Dr Anthony Cross (practitioner member)
Dr Susan Gould (community member)
Ms Louise Johnson (community member)
Dr Alison Lilley (practitioner member)
Associate Professor Solomon Menahem (practitioner member)
Dr Pamela Montgomery (community member)
Dr Ines Rio (practitioner member)
Dr Abhishek Verma (practitioner member)
Dr Miriam Weisz (community member)
South Australia Professor Anne Tonkin (practitioner member and Chair)
Dr Daniel Cehic (practitioner member)
Dr Catherine Gibb (practitioner member)
Mr Paul Laris (community member)
Professor Guy Maddern (practitioner member)
Ms Louise Miller-Frost (community member)
Dr Bruce Mugford (practitioner member)
Dr Lynne Rainey (practitioner member)
Dr Leslie Stephan (practitioner member)
Ms Kate Sullivan (community member)
Mr Thomas Symonds (community member)
Dr Mary White (practitioner member)
Northern Territory Dr Charles Kilburn (practitioner member and Chair)
Ms Lea Aitken (community member)
Ms Julia Christensen (community member)
Dr Tamsin Cockayne (practitioner member)
Dr Henry Duncan (practitioner member)
Ms Annette Flaherty (community member)
Dr Paul Helliwell (medical practitioner)
Dr Verushka Krigovsky (practitioner member)
Dr Hemanshu Patel (practitioner member)

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Consultation

Give us your feedback on revised sexual boundaries guidelines

The Board welcomes your feedback on proposed changes to its guidelines on sexual boundaries.

The guidelines make clear the importance of maintaining sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship and the standards of ethical and professional conduct expected of doctors by the Board, professional peers and the community.

The proposed changes in this scheduled review include:

  • a change in the title to clarify the scope of the guidelines and editorial updates that re-order the content, make it easier to read, and clarify terms and definitions
  • a new section on social media which complements the Board’s current Social media policy available on the Board’s website, and
  • replacing the term ‘chaperone’ in the guidelines with the term ‘observer’. The revised section on the use of observers now reflects the advice and principles in last year’s report on the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia.

Both the current and draft revised guidelines complement the Board’s code, Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia.

Feedback

The Board welcomes feedback on the draft revised guidelines, which are available on the consultation page of the Board’s website.

Please provide written submissions by email, marked: ‘Draft revised guidelines: Sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship’ to medboardconsultation by close of business on 29 March 2018.

We will generally publish submissions to consultations. More information about the consultation process is available in the consultation paper.

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Annual report

Medical profession-specific report released

The medical profession-specific annual report summary for 2016/17 has now been published.

The information provides a snapshot of the profession as at 30 June 2017, and includes the number of applications for registration, outcomes of criminal history checks and segmentation of the registrant base by gender, age, registration type and principal place of practice.

Notifications information includes the number of complaints or concerns received, matters opened and closed during the year, types of complaint, monitoring and compliance and matters involving immediate action.

From the report:

  • 111,166 medical practitioners were registered in 2016/17
  • 16,920 new applications for registration were received
  • student registration increased by 1.5%, to 20,057 medical students in 2016/17
  • medical practitioners make up 16.4% of all registered health practitioners in Australia
  • 42.1% medical practitioners are women
  • New South Wales was the principal place of practice for most medical practitioners (34,255)
  • the Northern Territory was home to the smallest number (1,259)
  • the age bracket with the largest number of medical practitioners was 30–34 (15,377)
  • 896 medical practitioners were under 25 years of age
  • 1,364 were aged 80 or over
  • the number of medical practitioners who hold limited registration continued to decrease which could reflect Australia’s diminishing reliance on international medical graduates (IMGs) as the number of Australian graduates increases
  • 3,617 notifications (complaints or concerns) were lodged with AHPRA about medical practitioners
  • AHPRA closed 3,557 notifications about medical practitioners in 2016/17 which represents 53% of all matters closed across all 14 professions in the National Scheme
  • 1,565 medical practitioners were actively monitored by AHPRA because conditions had been placed on their registration
  • immediate action was taken by the Board on 102 matters relating to medical practitioners in 2016/17, compared with 167 instances in 2015/16
  • 273 complaints were made about possible statutory offences by medical practitioners or medical services during the year. Over half of the new matters related to advertising breaches, and the majority of the remaining matters related to title protection.

To download this report, or to view the main 2016/17 annual report, visit the AHPRA website

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Accreditation

Providing high quality education and training

The Board has approved the following:

Specialist colleges' programs of study

Provider Program Approved Expiry
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Fellowship of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine 13 December 2017 30 September 2018
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 13 December 2017 31 March 2022
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Fellowship of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons 13 December 2017 31 March 2022
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 13 December 2017 31 March 2020

Medical schools' programs of study

Provider Program Approved Expiry
University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney) Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
4-year graduate entry program
22 November 2017 31 March 2022
Doctor of Medicine (MD)
4-year graduate entry program
22 November 2017 31 March 2024
Western Sydney University Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
5-year program
13 December 2017 31 March 2024
Bachelor of Clinical Sciences / Doctor of Medicine (BClinSci/MD)
5-year program
13 December 2017 31 March 2024

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Medical regulation at work

Latest tribunal decisions have been published online

There are important lessons for registered medical practitioners from tribunal decisions. The Medical Board of Australia refers the most serious concerns about medical practitioners to tribunals in each state and territory. Cases published recently include:

  • a general practitioner has had his registration cancelled for an inappropriate personal relationship with a patient, unsatisfactory professional performance and for falsifying medical records (Medical Board of Australia v Liyanage)

  • a medical practitioner has had his registration cancelled for inappropriate prescribing (Medical Board of Australia v Wood), and

  • a general practitioner has had his registration suspended and conditions imposed for failing to maintain professional boundaries (Medical Board of Australia v Ojo).

Two decisions relating to an appeal have been published:

  • the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the Medical Board of Australia’s decision to suspend a general practitioner’s registration in relation to infection control, storage of medication, handling of prescriptions and storage of medical records at a home-based practice (Al Raheb v Medical Board of Australia), and

  • the Supreme Court of Australia dismissed an appeal by a general practitioner of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s decision to uphold the suspension (Al Raheb v Medical Board of Australia).  

Publication of panel, court and tribunal decisions

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), on behalf of the 14 National Boards, publishes a record of panel, court and tribunal decisions about registered health practitioners.

When investigating a notification, the Medical Board may refer a medical practitioner to a health panel hearing, or a performance and professional standards panel hearing. Under the National Law1, panel hearings are not open to the public. AHPRA publishes a record of panel hearing decisions made since July 2010. Practitioners’ names are not published, consistent with the requirements of the National Law.

Summaries of tribunal or court cases are published at Court and tribunal decisions on the AHPRA website. The Board and AHPRA sometimes choose to not publish summaries, for example about cases involving practitioners with impairment.

In NSW and Queensland, different arrangements are in place. More information is available on AHPRA’s website on the Make a complaint page.


1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory

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Contacting the Board

  • The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA can be contacted by phone on 1300 419 495.
  • For more information, see the Medical Board of Australia website and the AHPRA website.
  • Lodge an enquiry form through the website under Contact us at the bottom of every web page.
  • Mail correspondence can be addressed to: Dr Joanna Flynn AM, Chair, Medical Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

More information

Please note: Practitioners are responsible for keeping up to date with the Board’s expectations about their professional obligations. The Board publishes standards, codes and guidelines as well as alerts in its newsletter. If you unsubscribe from this newsletter you are still required to keep up to date with information published on the Board’s website.

Comment on the Board newsletter is welcome and should be sent to newsletters@ahpra.gov.au.

For registration enquiries or contact detail changes, call the AHPRA customer service team on 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).

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Page reviewed 22/05/2018