Medical Board of Australia - June 2016
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June 2016

Update Medical Board of Australia

Maintaining patient trust

News on our social research, revalidation consultation and consultative committee

More than 3000 doctors shared their ideas about how doctors should build trust with their patients and what we need to do to show that we are competent and fit to practise medicine. The Board sent the survey to 15,000 randomly selected registered medical practitioners and is really pleased that so many doctors took the time to respond.

We also asked 1000 members of the community what they think about the same issues. The surveys were conducted by an independent agency commissioned by the Board, which is now analysing the research results.

The Board will consider – and then publish – a report on the de-identified research results and report back to the profession on what both doctors and the community think.

The research results will also go to the Board’s Expert Advisory Group on revalidation, which is now fine-tuning its ideas ahead of a broad consultation with the profession and the community in the second half of 2016.

Next month, we will be finalising appointments to the Consultative Committee on revalidation. The committee will provide a forum for discussion about what medical practitioners should do to demonstrate ongoing fitness and competence to practise and give feedback on models for revalidation proposed by the Expert Advisory Group.

We’ll publish more detail about the consultation on revalidation and how you can have your say in future Updates.   

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Doctors' health programs

Queensland services start

Queensland has joined the new $2million national network of doctors’ health services, paving the way for Queensland doctors and medical students to access advisory, referral and advocacy services.

New funding arrangements have now been finalised between Doctors’ Health Services Pty Ltd (DrHS) and Queensland Doctors’ Health Program Pty Ltd (QDHP). The Board is funding DrHS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), to coordinate the delivery of doctors’ health services for doctors and medical students in all states and territories.

The agreement brings Queensland into the national network with New South Wales, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Read more in the AMA media release.  

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Important updates for international medical graduates

1 July 2016 is the start date for revised registration standards and new guidelines for IMGs

Changes to limited registration standards and new Guidelines for short-term training in a medical specialty for international medical graduates who are not qualified for general or specialist registration take effect on 1 July. 

Revised limited registration standards start on 1 July

Reminder: Our revised registration standards for the four types of limited registration will take effect on 1 July 2016. We flagged this change in our April newsletter and from 1 July, applicants applying for or renewing limited registration will need to comply with the new standards.

The revised standards apply to international medical graduates (IMGs) who are not qualified for general or specialist registration. The revised standards are:

  • Limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice
  • Limited registration for area of need
  • Limited registration in public interest
  • Limited registration for teaching or research.

The standards have been reformatted and reworded to make them clearer, but for most, there are no significant changes to the requirements for limited registration.

The changes include:

  • IMGs applying for, or renewing, limited registration for area of need to work in a general practice position for the first time in Australia, are required to have at least three years (full-time equivalent) experience working in general practice or primary care.

    The requirement for experience will not apply to IMGs renewing registration to continue working in a current general practice position.

  • IMGs coming to Australia for a short period to demonstrate a clinical technique or participate in a workshop will apply for limited registration for teaching or research rather than limited registration in public interest.

The revised registration standards are published in the news item

New guidelines for IMGs seeking short-term specialist training in Australia

The Board’s Guidelines: Short-term training in a medical specialty for international medical graduates who are not qualified for general or specialist registration will also come into effect on 1 July 2016.

These guidelines apply to IMGs who are either qualified specialists, or specialists in training in other countries, who wish to have additional training in Australia for a short period (usually up to two years).

The guidelines complement the revised registration standard for limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice. Both documents define the eligibility criteria for registration for IMGs seeking short-term specialist training in Australia. The eligibility criteria for registration in this pathway have not changed.

The name of this pathway has changed to ‘short-term training in a medical specialty pathway’ to make it clearer that this pathway does not lead to an approved qualification for specialist registration. IMGs aiming to qualify for specialist registration must meet the requirements of the ‘specialist pathway – specialist recognition’.

The guidelines also clarify the roles of the specialist medical colleges and the Board in assessing and registering IMGs seeking short-term specialist training.

The guidelines are available in the news item.

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News and alerts

Choosing Wisely Australia campaign: eliminating waste in healthcare

AHPRA and the National Boards are promoting a new public awareness campaign, Choosing Wisely Australia, focusing on improving the quality of healthcare by eliminating unnecessary and sometimes harmful tests, treatments, and procedures. The campaign is part of a global Choosing Wisely healthcare initiative and in Australia is led by peak professional groups, including many of the specialist medical colleges, and facilitated by NPS MedicineWise.

There are 61 recommendations of tests, treatments, and procedures that healthcare providers and consumers should question, with colleges each having contributed recommendations specific to their field of medicine. The recommendations can also be searched by condition or symptom.

The recommendations aim to help consumers start a conversation with their healthcare professional about the kind of healthcare they are receiving, including whether imaging and screening is necessary, when to use antibiotics and how to start a conversation on how to improve end-of-life and palliative care.

The Choosing Wisely Australia website provides a number of useful tools for consumers including a fact sheet ‘5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider’, which has been translated into 10 languages.

AHPRA has posted links to the Choosing Wisely campaign on Facebook and Twitter. 

Community Reference Group

Did you know that AHPRA has a Community Reference Group (CRG)?

Our commitment to work with the community has continued to grow over the past three years with the increasing involvement and contribution of our CRG.

Established in June 2013, the CRG meets quarterly and has a number of roles, including providing feedback, information and advice on strategies for building better knowledge in the community about health practitioner regulation and also advising AHPRA on how to better understand, and most importantly, meet, community needs.

We recently welcomed six new members to the CRG and we’re looking forward to their contribution to the work of the National Scheme.

The CRG Chair, Mark Bodycoat, has also recently been appointed. Mark is a community member of the Medical Board of Australia. Mark chaired his first meeting in March 2016. We asked him about his background in the National Scheme and his thoughts about his new role. Read more about Mark in the Winter issue of AHPRA report.

Further information is available on the Community Reference Group webpage.

AHPRA and the National Boards also established a Professions Reference Group to provide a forum for engagement between AHPRA and associations representing the professions in the National Scheme.

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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. The Board and AHPRA sometimes choose to not publish summaries, for example about cases involving practitioners with impairment.

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

NSW and Queensland

In NSW and Queensland, different arrangements are in place.

In NSW, medical tribunal, court and committee decisions are published separately. In Queensland, complaints are received by the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO).

More information is available on AHPRA’s website under Notification outcomes and hearing decisions.

Recent decisions of tribunals

Medical Board of Australia v Naidu

The Health Professional Review Tribunal of the Northern Territory has found that Dr Ajay Naidu engaged in professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct and has reprimanded him, suspended him from practice for a period of four months and imposed conditions. Read more in the tribunal summary.

Medical Board of Australia v Rall

The Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal has ordered that Dr Deon Rall cannot reapply for registration in Australia for three years. Read more in the tribunal summary.

Medical Board of Australia v Cabading

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has confirmed a decision of the Medical Board of Australia to refuse Dr Rhandy Cabading’s application for renewal of limited registration. Read more in the tribunal summary.

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 [email protected].

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 23/04/2024