Ahpra and National Boards have established a short-term pandemic response sub-register for up to 12 months (or less if the pandemic subsides) to help with fast tracking the return to the workforce of experienced and qualified health practitioners.
The pandemic response sub-register came into effect on 6 April 2020.
The sub-register operates on an opt-out basis with eligible practitioners added to the pandemic sub-register automatically. There is no obligation for anyone added to the sub-register to practise or remain on it. They can opt out at any time for any reason. Only those who are properly qualified, competent and suitable should be on the register.
Practitioners who choose to stay on the pandemic sub-register and go back to work, must comply with their profession’s Code of conduct, professional indemnity insurance requirements and work within their scope of practice. After 12 months, they will be removed from the sub-register. If they would like to continue practising after that time, they will need to apply for registration through the standard process.
As of 1 July 2020, there are 35,098 doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, diagnostic radiographers, physiotherapists, psychologists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners on the pandemic response sub-register.
Numbers are likely to change as practitioners opt-out. Individuals who have a health issue that prevents them from practising safely, are unable to practise, or cannot get professional indemnity insurance should opt out of the temporary register.
Latest numbers of practitioners on the sub-register will be updated regularly.
Eligible diagnostic radiographers, physiotherapists and psychologists were added to the pandemic response sub-register on 20 April 2020 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners were added on 1 July 2020.