Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Code of conduct updated to improve patient safety

Code of conduct updated to improve patient safety

29 Jun 2022

A revised and more contemporary Code of conduct (the code), which outlines what the public can expect when they see a registered health practitioner, comes into effect today.

Key points

  • The revised Code of conduct, that applies to registered health practitioners in 12 professions is in effect today – 29 June 2022.
  • The code outlines the professional conduct expected of registered health practitioners. The code includes revised and expanded content on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety and greater clarity on clinical governance responsibilities for those in leadership roles.
  • National Boards have developed resources to help practitioners apply the code and the public to understand what they can expect when seeing a registered health practitioner.
  • Practitioners have a professional responsibility to be familiar with and apply the code in their practice.

A revised and more contemporary Code of conduct (the code), which outlines what the public can expect when they see a registered health practitioner, comes into effect today.

The code applies to registered health practitioners in 12 professions, specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, chiropractors, Chinese medicine practitioners, dental practitioners, medical radiation practitioners, occupational therapists, optometrists, osteopaths, paramedics, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and podiatric surgeons.

Ahpra CEO, Martin Fletcher said the code had been revised to reflect changes in public expectations and professional practice; with one significant change being the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety.

‘This change highlights the important role health practitioners have in achieving equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.’ Mr Fletcher said.

Other updates include greater clarity on clinical governance responsibilities for those in leadership roles and more guidance for practitioners and employers to resolve disagreements within the workplace.

The code is important for the professions it applies to, and to the public; with members of the public encouraged to read the code as well.

Consumer Health Forum’s CEO, Leanne Wells, said ‘By setting out what patients and consumers can expect from their health practitioner, the code enables patient and consumers to make more informed choices.

‘An informed consumer has more confidence to ask the right questions and seek out the safest treatment for themselves and their families.’

Resources, including case studies and a summary of the code in multiple languages, have been created to help the public understand what they can expect when they see a registered health practitioner. These resources, along with supporting information for practitioners, is available on the Ahpra website.

Read the revised shared Code of conduct.

 

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Page reviewed 29/06/2022