Medical Board of Australia
Medical Board of Australia
 

March 2015

Update Medical Board of Australia

Chair’s message

Making sure doctors retain their skills and continue to provide safe and ethical care throughout their working lives is an important issue for the Board. We have commissioned some research on revalidation – including international benchmarking – to help make sure the approach we take in Australia in the future is practical and effective.

More and more Australians are seeking cosmetic procedures. We know that not all of these are provided by registered medical practitioners, but the Board can do something to manage risk to patients from those that are. We are now consulting on options to protect consumers seeking cosmetic medical and surgical procedures provided by medical practitioners. We want to hear from the profession and the community, so please tell us what you think.

Dr Joanna Flynn AM
Chair, Medical Board of Australia

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Consultation.

Give us your feedback on draft cosmetic surgery guidelines

The Medical Board is consulting on the best way to protect consumers seeking cosmetic medical and surgical procedures provided by medical practitioners.

Specific guidance for registered medical practitioners who provide cosmetic procedures is one of four options the Board is consulting on, to better protect consumers in this area. Other options flagged in the public consultation paper and regulation impact statement include doing nothing, developing consumer education material and providing general guidance to medical practitioners.

A regulation impact statement (RIS) details the costs and benefits of proposed options and is required by the Commonwealth’s Office of Best Practice Regulation. The RIS provides detailed background information on this issue, including evidence, regulatory context, non-regulatory and regulatory options and the associated impacts, costs, benefits and risks.

Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who provide cosmetic medical or surgical procedures are the Board’s preferred option for managing risk to patients. The guidelines propose:

  • a seven-day cooling off period for all adults before procedures
  • a three-month cooling off period before procedures for all under 18s, along with mandatory assessment by a registered psychologist or psychiatrist
  • explicit guidance on informed patient consent, including clear information about risks and possible complications
  • explicit responsibility for post-operative care by the treating practitioner, including emergency facilities when sedation or analgesia is involved
  • mandatory face-to-face consultations before prescribing schedule 4 (prescription only) cosmetic injectables
  • detailed written information about costs, and
  • limits on where cosmetic procedures can be performed, to manage risk to patients.

Feedback

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

Please provide written submissions by email, marked ‘Consultation – Cosmetic medical and surgical procedures provided by medical practitioners’ to medboardconsultation@ahpra.gov.au by close of business 29 May 2015.

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

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Research on revalidation

The Board has commissioned research into revalidation and ways to make sure doctors keep their skills up to date throughout their professional lives.

The Board is continuing its focus on revalidation and has been working with the profession (through the colleges and the Australian Medical Association (AMA)) on a range of options to progress the debate and inform discussions.

The Board has commissioned the Collaboration for the Advancement of Medical Education, Research and Assessment (CAMERA) at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (UK) to conduct the research. The CAMERA team is an international leader in healthcare regulation research. It has carried out a series of studies about regulation including revalidation for the UK General Medical Council, the Medical Council of Ireland, the NHS Revalidation Support Team, the Health Foundation, and the National Institute for Health Research. The Board’s research study will be led by Dr Julian Archer.

The commissioned research will:

  • establish the existing evidence base for the validity of revalidation or similar in countries comparable to Australia
  • identify best practice and any gaps in knowledge for revalidation processes
  • establish the validity evidence for revalidation’s effectiveness in supporting safe practice, and
  • develop a range of models for the Australian context for the Board to consider.

The Board will consider the research findings and recommendations after June 2015, when it has received the results of the study.

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Quarterly data on the profession

The Board publishes statistics each quarter profiling the profession. Data are broken down by state and territory, by registration type and for specialists by specialty and field of speciality.

The latest data have just been released and are available on the Board’s website under Statistics on the News page.

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News and alerts

Security tip – keep your web browser updated

We are making changes to our websites to make sure that your information is kept safe. 

From early April 2015, anyone using Internet Explorer version 6 (or an older version) to view our website is likely to experience difficulty accessing our web pages and our online services.

To avoid an interruption to service, we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of Internet Explorer immediately. It is available for free from Microsoft.

If you are using a new version of Internet Explorer and are still having difficulty accessing our site please contact us to report your experience on 1300 419 495 Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

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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 Publications>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:

Radovic v Medical Board of Australia

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has reprimanded Dr Zoran Radovic for unsatisfactory professional performance. Read more in the media release.

Medical Board of Australia v Alroe  

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has reprimanded Dr Christopher Alroe for professional misconduct and imposed conditions on his registration. 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