Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary

2021/22 annual summary

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice in 2021/22

Snapshot

886 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners

  • Up 6.9% from 2020/21
  • 0.1% of all registered health practitioners

100% were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

76.2% female; 23.8% male

Age

Age: <25 5.2%, 25-34 23.3%, 35-44 22.5%, 45-54 23.9%, 55-64 20.8%, 65-74 4.3%, >75 0.1%

Regulating

Notifications

10 notifications lodged with Ahpra about 9 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners

  • 12 notifications about 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 1.1% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 40.0% Patient, relative or member of the public. 20.0% Employer. 40.0% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 30.0% Breach of non-offence provision - National Law. 20.0% Confidentiality. 10.0% Clinical care. 10.0% Health impairment. 10.0% Medication. 20.0% Other

No immediate actions taken

1 mandatory notification received

  • about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 11 notifications closed. 9.1% conditions imposed on registration. 45.5% cautioned or reprimanded. 45.5% no further action

Monitoring

2 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

6 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 1 for health
  • 1 for performance
  • 4 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

1 criminal offence complaint made

  • about title protection

1 closed

Referred to an adjudication body

No matters decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel

Appeals

No appeals lodged

From the Chair

Regulatory response to COVID-19

In response to a request by the Australian Government, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia has continued to enable registration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners on the pandemic sub-register to provide additional support for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out.

Policy updates

Practitioners have a professional responsibility to be familiar with and apply the Code of conduct. It is an important part of the Board’s regulatory framework for protecting the public, and is used to evaluate a practitioner’s conduct. The public can also use the code to better understand what they can expect from registered health practitioners.

Changes have only been made to the shared Code of conduct where they were needed to keep the code up to date, effective, clear and relevant. Importantly, there is a new section on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety that includes the National Scheme’s definition of cultural safety. Other changes include information about practitioners’ responsibilities in relation to bullying and harassment, including the importance of addressing the issue in the workplace and the role of the National Board and Ahpra.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Issues this year

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners faced extraordinary challenges as they responded to the needs of their communities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as natural disasters. The Board acknowledges the significant efforts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners across Australia in adapting to the changing environment and continuing to provide exceptional service to their communities.

Health practitioners are rightly some of the most trusted professions in Australia. Most health practitioners practise safely and well – the vast majority of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners did not have any concerns reported about their conduct, health or performance.

Accreditation

The Board welcomed new members to its Accreditation Committee (ATSIHPAC), including a new Chair. The Accreditation Committee's functions include assessing, accrediting and monitoring programs of study that lead to registration. Its decisions are based on the accreditation standards approved by the Board. Our new members are settling in well and are very dedicated and passionate about the regulation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice.

The Board released the cross-profession
Supervised practice framework.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board continues to have good relationships with its stakeholders. Although the pandemic meant that our collaborative efforts have been conducted electronically, we are meeting face to face where we can to continue our efforts to develop the profession and highlight the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners in creating a more culturally safe health environment for our Peoples and communities.

Ms Renee Owen

 
 
Page reviewed 27/11/2022