Problems in the health industry is a major concern in all countries of the world. It is not unheard of to learn about a problem regarding a cosmetic surgeon, for example, or a chiropractor in Western Sydney and other parts of Australia. And so, a regulating body is necessary to make sure that everything is up to standard.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has been operating nationally for almost a decade now. Different states had their own systems but the AHPRA was established as a national system for the whole Australia.
Under the AHPRA, a chiropractor in Western Sydney, for example, is put under standards to maintain the quality of service and help they provide their patients. The same goes for nurses, doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, midwives, and other professionals in the industry. There are 700,000 health practitioners currently registered in their systems, as well as 150,000 students.
More than Registration
Aside from registration– which ensures the legitimacy of the health care professionals and the quality of service they provide– the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency also hold a disciplinary role in some states. However, there are some exceptions. For example, New South Wales has its own Health Care Complaints Commission which does the same job in cooperation with the AHPRA.
This disciplinary role is concerned with other activities of medical practitioners such as involvement in prohibited drugs, failure to maintain accurate medical records, or charging excessive costs for excessive number of sessions for psychologists. In New South Wales, the Health Care Complaints Commission issued a public warning not too long ago about some unsafe practices of subdermal implants meant for extreme body modifications.
Mitigating Future Harm
In addition to these, the AHPRA also recently received an update on its powers and responsibilities, now including monitoring and intervening with practitioners whose medical practice may put patients and public health at risk. This needs an intensive record of past and present medical issues–something, unfortunately, that the AHPRA does not currently have just yet. The government is making amendments in its law to obligate citizens and professionals to report negligence of medical practitioners to the AHPRA.