Introducing the pandemic response sub-register: the latest Taking care podcast release

07 Apr 2020

Taking Care welcomes Alison McMillan, the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer; Dr Chris Zappala, Vice-President of the AMA and respiratory physician; and Brett Simmonds, Chair of the Pharmacy Board of Australia. Join us for a discussion on the opportunities and implications of the sub-register.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) has released the latest episode in the Taking care podcast series titled Introducing the COVID-19 pandemic sub-register.

This episode features a discussion on the opportunities and implications of the sub-register with the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Alison McMillan; Chair of the Australian Pharmacy Board of Australia, Brett Simmonds; and Vice-President of the Australian Medical Association and respiratory physician Dr Chris Zappala.

Ahpra and National Boards have launched the short-term pandemic response sub-register to fast track the return to the workforce of experienced and qualified health practitioners as health services prepare for the expected surge in demand resulting from COVID-19.

The pandemic response sub-register will enable doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists who previously held general or specialist registration and left the Register of practitioners or moved to non-practising registration in the past three years to return to practice. Only those who are properly qualified, competent and suitable will be returned to the register.

In this episode of Taking care, Ms McMillan, Mr Simmonds and Dr Zappala talk to host Susan Biggar about how the pandemic response sub-register will work, what these returning practitioners might do as a 'surge workforce', how vulnerable practitioners might be affected, and how the sub-register might look in further iterations.

Talking of the health workforce Ms McMillian says ‘Australia is considered to have a world class health system and that is as a consequence of the terrific health workforce we have across the country. It’s highly trained, highly skilled, it’s extremely well respected across the world.’

‘What we are doing at the moment is looking at every opportunity we have to make sure that we can surge our workforce and ensure our workforce can work to its full scope of practice to meet the complexity and demands that this pandemic has provided to us.’

The Taking care podcast series offers professional and consumer perspectives on current issues and common questions about public safety in healthcare. Download and listen to the latest Taking care podcast episode today. Ahpra releases a new episode every fortnight, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking Care’ in your podcast player.

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Page reviewed 7/04/2020