12 Nov 2020
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) today released its 2019/20 annual report highlighting our regulatory work with National Boards and our response to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘2020 has shown us all how much we rely on health practitioners at the frontline to keep us all safe,’ Ahpra CEO Martin Fletcher said.
‘We acknowledge and thank all health practitioners who have responded with such professionalism and commitment to keep us safe.’
Ahpra and National Boards have worked closely with accreditation authorities, governments and our partners to ensure we play our part fully in supporting these health practitioners and the wider health system response to COVID-19.
2020 marked the tenth year of national registration. Australia now has more than 800,000 registered health practitioners. This figure includes around 35,000 recently retired health practitioners in eight professions who were returned to registration as part of our pandemic sub-register to support the health system response to COVID-19.
Regulation can never stand still. COVID-19 meant that Ahpra became a virtual organisation within weeks. We also worked with National Boards to introduce many changes to allow our regulatory work to continue and provided flexibility where it was safe. This included updated guidance about issues such as telehealth services, scope of practice and CPD requirements.
Maintaining public safety remained paramount across all of our regulatory work. We implemented changes to the National Law on mandatory reporting, initiated an independent review of our management of sexual boundary notifications and continued our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners to eliminate racism from the health system and ensure cultural safety.
Insights from the year include:
To view and download the 2019/20 annual report, visit the Ahpra website.