September 2019

Update Medical Board of Australia

Message from the Chair 

There are still a few days left to renew your medical registration and do the Medical Training Survey, if you’re a doctor in training. If you are due to renew, don’t let 30 September pass without renewing your medical registration. If you’re a doctor in training, use your voice and help build the evidence base for ongoing improvements to medical training. We would love to hear your views. 

There are also opportunities to comment on several public consultations. One of them is a consultation on the proposed new guidelines for mandatory reporting. These guidelines have been extensively rewritten to make it clearer to treating doctors and the profession in general that mandatory reporting about an impairment does not come into play unless the doctor-patient represents a substantial risk to the public. Doctors who are managing their health condition in a way that means that there is no risk to the public do not need to notify or be reported. We want to make it clear that the best way to avoid the need for mandatory reporting is to deal with health conditions early and effectively. We would appreciate your input to ensure that these guidelines are as clear as possible.


Dr Anne Tonkin
Chair, Medical Board of Australia

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Medical Board of Australia news

Registration renewal for 2019-20

Registration is due now for most doctors  

Registration renewal for medical practitioners with general, specialist and non-practising registration is now due – it closes on 30 September 2019.

If you haven’t already renewed your registration, do it before 30 September if you want to continue to practise. Online renewal is quick and easy.

There is a late fee for renewal applications received in October.

To renew, follow the prompts in the reminders AHPRA has sent you by email or mail.

By law, if you apply to renew on time, you can practise medicine while we process your application. If you apply to renew on time or during the late renewal period, you can still practise medicine even if:

  • we are still processing your application to renew, and
  • the registration expiry date displayed on the register has passed.

Even if the registration expiry date displayed has passed, the national register will continue to confirm that you are registered.

Under the National Law, practitioners who do not apply to renew their registration within one month of their registration expiry date must be removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners. For medical practitioners, this will happen on 1 November. Their registration will lapse and they will not be able to practise medicine in Australia until a new application for registration is approved. Practitioners whose registration has lapsed can make a fast-track application, but they cannot practise until their application is processed and the national register is updated. This can take time.

Fees, tips and other information

The registration fee for medical practitioners for 2019/20 is $787. The fee schedule is available on the fees page.

A video and ‘Tips for renewing online’ are available for medical practitioners on the Registration renewal page.

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Medical Training Survey 

Medical Training Survey closes soon

Time is running out to do the Medical Training Survey – so if you’re a doctor in training, do it now! So far, we’ve heard from thousands of doctors in training and there’s still time to add your voice and create a solid evidence base for consolidation or change to medical training in Australia.

Interns and IMGs can follow the survey link in their email from the Medical Board of Australia.

All other doctors in training can do the survey when they renew their registration. If you’ve renewed already, it’s not too late – follow the survey link in your confirmation of registration email.

More participants means better quality data and a strong evidence base for ongoing improvements.

Hear from your colleagues why you should do the survey – watch our video.

For more information, visit www.MedicalTrainingSurvey.gov.au. The survey closes on 30 September.

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Quarterly registration data 

Latest profession-specific statistics published

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

The latest data are available on the Board’s website under Statistics on the News page.  

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Consultations

Consultation on guidelines for medical practitioners in relation to blood-borne viruses

The Medical Board is consulting on draft Guidelines for registered health practitioners and students in relation to blood-borne viruses. The consultation is in partnership with the Dental, Nursing and Midwifery, Paramedicine and Podiatry Boards of Australia.

The draft guidelines are intended to support practitioners in these professions to comply with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia Australian national guidelines for the management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses (the CDNA guidelines).  

All registered health practitioners who perform exposure-prone procedures, or who are living with a blood- borne virus, need to comply with the CDNA guidelines. 

We welcome feedback from practitioners, employers and the community. The consultation closes on 1 November 2019 and is available on the current consultations page.

Consultation on Guidelines for mandatory notifications

The National Boards and AHPRA are consulting on the review of the Guidelines for mandatory notifications.

The review is to make sure the guidelines clearly explain the thresholds and requirements for mandatory reporting, including the 2019 National Law amendments which will soon come into effect.

We welcome feedback from practitioners, employers, education providers and the community. The consultation closes on 6 November 2019 and is available on the current consultations page

Consultation on Guidelines for advertising regulated health services

The National Boards and AHPRA are consulting on an updated version of the Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service. The guidelines apply to individuals and businesses advertising a regulated health service, including registered health practitioners. They help advertisers to understand their obligations under the National Law and support them to advertise responsibly.

We welcome feedback from practitioners, businesses and the community. The consultation closes on 26 November 2019 and is available on the current consultations page.

Consultation on a Supervised practice framework

The National Boards and AHPRA are consulting on a proposed Supervised practice framework. The proposed framework would apply to supervised practice used for practitioners returning to practice and as part of the notification process. The proposed framework will not apply to international medical graduates or interns.

The framework includes draft fact sheets on supervision levels, and information for supervisors and those being supervised.

We welcome feedback from practitioners, employers and the community. The consultation closes on 17 December 2019 and is available on the current consultations page.

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Alerts

Alert for final year medical students – English language standard

Communicating effectively is a cornerstone of good medical practice and proficiency in English is a requirement for medical registration in Australia.

Medical graduates need to have provisional registration before they can start to practise medicine. To be granted provisional registration, they must meet a number of standards, including the requirements of the Board’s English language skills registration standard. For some medical graduates this may include sitting an English language test – even if they've studied medicine in Australia.

AHPRA has sent information out to alert medical students who are about to graduate with a reminder about what the English language skills registration standard requires.

Final year medical students who did not complete at least two years of secondary school taught and assessed solely in English in a recognised country, must check to see how they will meet the standard.

We have published a news item on the Board’s website and are using social media to help get the message out.

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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.

These cases were published recently:

Publication of panel, court and tribunal decisions

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 AHPRA’s website on the Raise a concern page.

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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 Anne Tonkin, 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 24/09/2019