02 Nov 2015
The number of registered health practitioners in Australia continues to grow in new data featured in the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards annual report for 2014/15 published today.
A total of 637,218 health practitioners are registered from 14 different professions in Australia representing overall growth of 2.9% over the past year.
‘Information about each of these registered health practitioners is easily available to the community through the national online register.’ said Martin Fletcher, Chief Executive Officer of AHPRA.
‘Maintaining an up to date national register is one of the most important ways in which we protect the public.’
The annual report outlines AHPRA and the National Board’s activities in 2014/15 and highlights work to:
- improve our performance and our services
- how we are using our data to embed risk based approaches to regulation based on clear and transparent principles
- strengthened public protection through practitioner audit and tougher criminal history checks, and
- work to improve the practitioner and notifier experience.
AHPRA Agency Management Committee Chair Michael Gorton AM said the focus remains strongly on public safety.
‘We are clear that our main purpose is to improve public safety and facilitate access to quality health services in partnership with National Boards’, said Mr Gorton.
‘The timeliness of our work is very important. Together with the National Boards we have significantly reduced the average timelines for assessing new notifications’ we have reduced the number of open notifications by 25% and we have improved the closure rate for investigations for the third year running.’
The annual report shows an overall decrease in notifications including a decrease in mandatory notifications.
‘We are keeping a close eye on whether this is the start of a trend.’ said Mr Fletcher.
‘We will continue to work with professional bodies, health services and governments to make sure practitioners and employers are aware of their mandatory reporting obligations. In order to protect the public, we cannot act if we don’t know about problems and open reporting is key to this.’
Chair of the Forum of National Board Chairs and Chair of the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, Mr Paul Shinkfield, said it had been a landmark year for the 14 National Boards as the National Scheme has now been established for five years.
‘Strong and effective partnerships across National Boards and with AHPRA continue to grow,’ said Mr Shinkfield.
‘The independent National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) Review, undertaken by Mr Kim Snowball on behalf of health ministers, has also helped focus where we need work together even more closely to be more efficient and effective in our regulatory work.’
The 2014/15 Annual Report is published alongside comprehensive data. Summary reports profiling the work and data for each state and territory and profession will be published soon.
For more information
Download a PDF of this Media release - National Registration delivering more registered health practitioners - 2 November 2015 (211 KB,PDF)