1Unless stated otherwise, all notification data is AHPRA data.
2018/19 was a year of consolidation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia's work to establish itself as a newly regulated profession (other than, of course, in the Northern Territory where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners have been regulated for many years); and for telling our story about the valuable contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners make to the healthcare system, in both clinical and non-clinical roles.
Board was proud to see Mr Karl Briscoe, CEO of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association, present to the United Nations in August 2018. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner profession is the only ethnically based profession in the world that is regulated, complete with training curriculum and registration requirements.
The Board is encouraged by the small but steady rise in the numbers of registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners across Australia, and continues to work with jurisdictional governments to encourage them to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners in their healthcare systems.
The Board’s committee, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner Accreditation Committee, is appointed to carry out the accreditation function of the National Law. It monitors approved programs of study and the institutions that provide them. The Board remains appreciative of the tireless work carried out by this committee, ably led by Professor Elaine Duffy. It has worked efficiently and effectively to accredit all the programs of study that are able to be accredited.
In conjunction with AHPRA and other National Boards, the accreditation committee has drafted, conducted broad- ranging consultation on, and submitted to the Board for its approval, a revised accreditation standard. The revised accreditation standard will come into force from 1 July 2020 and expands the eligibility for programs of study to seek accreditation for registration purposes.
Broad consultation on draft revised registration standards was completed this year and the Ministerial Council approved the revised registration standards on 30 June. The Board has revised five registration standards to update them now that the grandparenting provisions of the National Law have passed, and to make them easier to understand and align more closely with the other professions in the National Scheme:
The Board contributed to the work to revise its code of conduct, which is shared with 10 other health professions regulated in the National Scheme.
The Board also meets regularly as the Registration and Notifications Committee, as the authority appointed by the Board to deal with individual registration matters, as well as working with AHPRA to investigate any complaints that are made about registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.
During 2018, the Board welcomed new member Mr David Nicholls as a practitioner member from Queensland.
The Board looks forward to expanding its stakeholder engagement activities next year and continuing to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners have, particularly towards closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes.
Ms Renee Owen, Chair