The Medical Board’s standards form the foundations of good medical practice. They guide your practice and make our expectations clear. We’re keen to hear from you when we’re making changes or updates, to make sure the standards are strong, clear and relevant. We’re consulting now on changes that underpin cosmetic surgery reform and updates in intern training affecting PGY1s. Please share your thoughts in our consultations – they will inform our reflections and decisions.
Dr Anne Tonkin
Chair, Medical Board of Australia
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We’re keeping our word and moving quickly to make cosmetic surgery safer. We are consulting now on three reforms and are keen for your feedback on:
All three reforms were recommended by the recent independent review and are part of wider changes designed to make cosmetic surgery safer.
In parallel, the Australian Medical Council (AMC) is developing and will consult on accreditation standards and graduate outcomes that will lead to decisions about qualifications required to gain endorsement. There are no qualifications approved yet.
The Board’s cosmetic surgery consultation paper (with the draft documents) is available on our Current consultations page. You can provide feedback in an online submission form – the link is on the consultation page. Or email submissions using the submission template. There is a separate online survey for patients.
Your feedback will help us set the right foundations for safer cosmetic surgery, so consumers know who to go to and doctors know what is expected of them.
The consultation closes on 11 December 2022. This is shorter and more streamlined than usual, to meet the timeframes expected by Health Ministers. In designing the reforms, we have drawn heavily on the extensive public consultation that underpinned the independent review, along with the review’s findings and recommendations.
The Board will finalise the advertising and professional guidelines and refer the registration standard to Health Ministers in early 2023, having reflected on consultation feedback.
A package of reforms will make cosmetic surgery safer. Here’s a quick summary of what is changing, the impact of each change and how the reforms fit together:
These policy reforms are backed by a wide range of education, communication, enforcement and process changes. You can read more on Ahpra’s Cosmetic surgery hub.
Understanding the Australian health system and Australian patients is an important part of medical practice in this country and is a feature of orientation for all international medical graduates (IMGs). In their first three months of supervised practice in Australia, all IMGs must complete an orientation to our health system, culture and society.
Cultural safety awareness and practice is crucial for all doctors in Australia. When we updated our code of conduct, Good medical practice, in 2020, we expanded our guidance on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety.
As well, we’ve recently introduced a specific new focus in IMG orientation, on cultural safety and health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We’ve updated the orientation report form (ORIG-30) for IMGs with limited or provisional registration, to help doctors who are new to Australia to better understand cultural safety and the care needs of Australians who are part of the oldest living culture on earth.
The updated form is available on the Medical Board’s Forms page.
The Board has approved the following:
Changes are coming to intern training. The changes arise from the Australian Medical Council’s National Framework for Prevocational (PGY1 and PGY2) Medical Training (the AMC Framework), which will take effect from 2024.
The Board is now consulting on a revised registration standard that defines what interns need to do to be eligible for general registration. The changes to the registration standard align with the intern training requirements in the AMC Framework, which has already been consulted on and announced by the AMC.
The proposed changes to the registration standard include removing mandatory terms in medicine, surgery and emergency medical care and replacing them with terms that include experience in:
The updates support flexible and innovative approaches to intern training requirements, including flexibility in settings and locations. The proposed standard does not apply to PGY2 training requirements.
We’re keen to hear your feedback on the revised standard. Please email written submissions marked ‘Public consultation on a revised standard - Granting general registration to Australian and New Zealand medical gradutes on completion of intern training’ to email@example.com.
We generally publish submissions received, with some exceptions. Please see the consultation paper for details.
The consultation closes on 25 January 2023.
The consultation paper and more information is available on the Board’s Current consultations page.
We hold, publish and share data about all registered health practitioners in Australia, including through the public register of health practitioners.
Public consultation on a draft Data strategy is now open. Ahpra is inviting feedback from health practitioners on the future uses of the data we collect and hold, including about three focus areas:
We want to know what you think about including additional information about you and your practice on the public register. We’re also seeking your views on publishing practitioners’ disciplinary history on the public register.
We’re interested in sharing some of the data we hold (where legally allowed and while protecting privacy and confidentiality) to help protect the public, improve access to health services and contribute to patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We want to hear from you about how we can share, or receive data, to benefit health practitioners and the public.
In addition, we’re consulting on using new data technologies ethically and safely to help make our regulatory work more efficient and effective and streamline practitioners’ interactions with us.
The consultation is open until 31 January 2023. We encourage you to have your say on how we use and share the data we hold about you, where lawful, to protect the public.
To learn more or to make a submission, read the consultation paper and information for practitioners on the Ahpra website.
The widest-ranging reform to health practitioner regulation since the National Scheme was established in 2010, has passed into law.
While some of the changes have already taken effect, most have a delayed start so that implementation can be smooth and nationally consistent.
Two important changes are already in place. There is a new paramount principle that puts public safety at the centre of regulatory decision-making and a new guiding principle and objective that embeds cultural safety in the National Law.
In 2023, new powers to strengthen public protection while maintaining fairness for practitioners will take effect, including:
We know concerns have been raised about ‘naming and shaming’ doctors in public statements. In practice, the Board and Ahpra will rarely use these powers and only when there is a serious unmanaged risk to public health and safety. For extra reassurance, these powers won’t take effect until we’ve consulted widely about the rules and safeguards that will frame their use.
Look out in 2023 for the consultation on this important change.
Read more in the news item. Resources, including an information guide and FAQs, are available on the National Law amendments page on the Ahpra website.
Ahpra releases fortnightly episodes of the Taking care podcast, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can access these on the Ahpra website or listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking care’ in your podcast player. New episodes include:
There are important lessons in tribunal decisions about registered medical practitioners. The Medical Board of Australia refers the most serious concerns about medical practitioners to tribunals in each state and territory. Recently published decisions include:
Ahpra, on behalf of the 15 National Boards, publishes a record of panel, court and tribunal decisions about registered health practitioners.
When investigating a notification, the Board 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. Practitioners’ names are not published, consistent with the National Law.
Summaries of tribunal and court cases are published on the Court and tribunal decisions page of the Ahpra website. The Board and Ahpra sometimes choose not to publish summaries, for example about cases involving practitioners with impairment.
In New South Wales and Queensland, different arrangements are in place. More information is available on Aphra’s website on the Concerned about a practitioner? page.
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.
Comments on the Board newsletter are welcome, send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For registration enquiries or contact detail changes, call the Ahpra customer service team on 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).