23 March 2011 A Senate Inquiry will be held into the chaotic changeover to a national registration system for Australia’s medical workforce.
The Senate today approved the inquiry by the Finance and Public Administration Committee after the Coalition moved for a detailed examination of the strife-riddled registration process.
Doctors, nurses and other health professionals faced massive delays in renewing their registration.
Some were de-registered and had to stop treating patients, others treated patients while de-registered with all the problems that could pose – including Medicare’s refusal to pay patient rebates and the likely refusal of private insurers to provide coverage.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said the move to a national system had been chaotic for a large number of health professionals.
“Health Minister Nicola Roxon just shrugged her shoulders and said it wasn’t her problem as doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and other professionals were forced from their practices. It was the height of incompetence,” Mr Dutton said.
The inquiry will look at the capacity and ability of the new Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to implement national registration, investigate its performance and consider the impact on practitioners, patients, hospitals and other health service providers.
The inquiry is to report by mid-May.
The terms of reference for the Inquiry are attached.