3 June 2011 A Senate Inquiry has yet again revealed the inability of the Gillard Government to deliver successful outcomes in health policy.
The inquiry into the new Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has found the organisation was unable to efficiently carry out the vital role of registering the nation’s half million health professionals.
The Senate inquiry report released today is scathing in its criticisms and found that the agency’s failures could have significantly compromised the nation’s health services.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said the report shows that the Gillard-Rudd Governments had rushed to establish AHPRA and then not ensured it had adequate resources to do its job.
Overnight last July AHPRA took control of the registration process for all health practitioners from 80 state and territory boards.
“What followed was chaos at the start of this year. Thousands of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and graduates entering the workforce for the first time were not registered or re-registered on time,” Mr Dutton said.
Many were deregistered and prevented from practising. Others were unable to take up jobs and some lost their employment because of administrative failures in AHPRA.
“Time after time we see this government that brought us the pink batts scandal and school halls waste unable to follow through on crucial policy such as the national registration of health professionals,” Mr Dutton said.
“Health Minister Nicola Roxon was warned that transitioning from a myriad of state bodies to one national body would be a huge undertaking. One that should be staged over time, but as usual Labor knew best and decided it could be done overnight.”
“The result was chaos.”
Mr Dutton called on the Minister to accept the 10 recommendations in the Senate report and drive necessary changes through the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to ensure that AHPRA can adequately fulfil its role in the future.
The Shadow Minister said the agency must be adequately resourced to do its job.
He said the registration process must be efficient, timely and accurate to ensure confidence in the health system.