Medical Board of Australia
Medical Board of Australia
 

July 2015

Update Medical Board of Australia

Medical Board appointments

National Board appointments announced

Australian health ministers have recently announced appointments for the National Boards. Terms on Boards are for three years and existing members can apply for reappointment.

Dr Joanna Flynn AM has been reappointed as Chair of the Medical Board of Australia for a third term.

The following current National Board members have been reappointed: Associate Professor Stephen Bradshaw, Professor Belinda Bennett, Ms Prudence Ford and Dr Fiona Joske.

New members who will start their first terms on the Medical Board of Australia on 31 August 2015 are: Associate Professor Stephen Adelstein, Mr Mark Bodycoat, Dr Samuel Goodwin, Professor Con Michael AO, Professor Anne Tonkin and Ms Michelle Wright.

We thank the National Board members who will finish their terms in August and look forward to welcoming the new Board members to the Medical Board of Australia.

A full list of appointments for the National Boards is available in the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council communiqué from 6 July 2015

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Changes to NSW Medical Board

The Medical Board of Australia has established state and territory boards to make decisions about individual medical practitioners in each jurisdiction. This includes all registration and notification decisions.

The National Board has delegated many of its powers so that local decision-makers can respond effectively and in a timely way to local matters, working within a national policy framework.

Dr Greg Kesby has resigned from his role as Chair of the NSW Medical Board and has been appointed to the position of President of the Medical Council of NSW.

Appointments to fill the current vacancies on the NSW Board are being finalised.

The Medical Board of Australia thanks Dr Kesby and the other members who recently finished their terms on the NSW Board. 

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Intern training and accreditation

Minor changes to the standards for intern training programs

The Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Medical Council (AMC) have approved minor changes to the national standards for intern training programs and the standards against which the AMC assesses intern accreditation authorities.

The changes aim to clarify the current standards. There is new advice for intern supervisors on how to assess the intern training outcome statement ‘Apply knowledge of the culture, spirituality and relationship to land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to clinical practice and advocacy’. Some of the standards that intern accreditation authorities are assessed against have also been clarified.

The updated documents are available on the AMC and Board websites. More information about the changes is available in the AMC and Board communiqué.  

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COAG review of medical intern training

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council has commissioned a review of medical intern training. The review, led by independent reviewers Professor Andrew Wilson and Dr Anne Marie Feyer, was commissioned to examine:

  • the purpose of the internship year and whether it remains valid and fit for purpose
  • the effectiveness of the internship year in producing doctors with appropriate skills and competencies to meet national healthcare needs and support generalist practice
  • the role of internship in supporting career decision-making by doctors, and
  • models to support expansion of intern training.

The review is taking place in the context of significant changes in the health environment over recent decades that impact on the training of doctors, for example the growing burden of chronic disease and the changing nature of the acute care experience for patients.

The review team conducted an extensive consultation process that included consultation forums in every state and territory, written submissions and meetings with key stakeholders including junior doctors, medical students, regulators, universities, colleges, consumers, health ministers and health departments.

The consultation confirmed the value of a structured, supervised transition to the workplace to be widely recognised, but there was also broad agreement that there is scope to improve the current internship model. In particular there is a desire for better alignment with community needs and an opportunity to ensure a high quality, holistic training experience that is reflective of the modern health system.

An options paper provided an analysis of the consultation findings, including the degree of support among stakeholders for possible changes to the internship. It outlined some ways to improve the intern training system generally as well as a number of options for structuring the internship, options which could include progressive changes over time. The review team are now reviewing the submissions that will inform their final report, due to be considered by the COAG Health Council in November 2015.

More information and the discussion paper, options paper and latest news are available on the COAG website.

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News and alerts

Warning about fraudulent registration and employment racket

The Medical Board has issued a warning about a fraudulent registration and employment racket targeting overseas doctors coming to Australia. The Board has received reports that an organisation is issuing fraudulent medical registration cards and numbers and requesting payments from overseas doctors to finalise job offers in Australia.

Eastern Health has reported on its website that it is aware that an organisation has been soliciting individuals, pretending to recruit on behalf of Eastern Health.

The Board has reminded overseas doctors to make sure that the information they receive about medical registration is from reputable parties and to double check any advice against information published on the Board and the Australian Medical Council websites. Read more in the media release.  

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Changes to Medicines Australia code of conduct affecting medical practitioners

Medical practitioners should be aware of changes to Medicines Australia’s code of conduct. Medicines Australia is a membership organisation for pharmaceutical companies in Australia. Its code of conduct sets standards for the advertising and promotion of prescription medicines and applies to all member organisations. The revised code requires member companies to publicly disclose payments made to health professionals for their expert service or when financial support is provided for education purposes, including airfares, accommodation and conference registration fees.

The new requirements in the code come into effect on 1 October 2015 and reporting of all payments will be mandatory from 1 October 2016. More information is available on the Medicines Australia website.

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Panel, court and tribunal decisions

Latest tribunal decisions published online 

AHPRA on behalf of the 14 National Boards publishes a record of panel, court and tribunal decisions about registered health practitioners. Summaries are published when there is clinical and educational value.

Court and tribunal decisions

Under the National Law, the Board must refer a matter about a registered medical practitioner or student to a tribunal if the Board reasonably believes that the practitioner has behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct; or the practitioner’s registration was improperly obtained because the Board was given false or misleading information. The Board must also refer the matter to a tribunal if a panel established by the Board requires the Board to do so.

Medical practitioners may also appeal certain decisions of the Board to a tribunal or court.

AHPRA publishes summaries of tribunal or court cases. These can be sourced at Tribunal decisions on the AHPRA website. A full library of published hearing decisions from tribunals or courts relating to complaints and notifications made about health practitioners or students is available on the Austlii website.

Recent decisions of tribunals

Medical Board of Australia v Garland 

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has found that Dr Jon Garland engaged in professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct, reprimanding him and imposing conditions on his registration as a medical practitioner. Read more in the media release.

Panel hearings

When investigating a notification, state and territory committees of the Medical Board of Australia may refer a medical practitioner to a health panel hearing, or a performance and professional standards panel hearing.

Under the National Law, panel hearings are not open to the public. AHPRA publishes a record of panel hearing decisions made since July 2010. Summaries have been provided when there is educational and clinical value. These summaries are accessible from hyperlinks within the table. Practitioners' names are not published, consistent with the requirements of the National Law. This table does not include summaries of panel decisions made under previous legislation, even if these were held after July 2010.

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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 20/02/2017