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Ministerial Council announces the appointment of inaugural members to the National Boards

Thu, 21/07/2011
Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council

The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council has announced the appointment of the 39 inaugural members to the National Boards for the four health professions that will join the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme on 1 July 2012.

These appointments are made under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act, as in force in each State and Territory, from 1 July 2011.  The National Boards will begin important preparatory work to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners, medical radiation practitioners and occupational therapists to join the national scheme.

In making the appointments, Ministers took into account the feedback they received from more than 45 submissions on the size and composition of the boards.  Ministers decided that three of the boards will have nine members, comprising six practitioner members and three community members each. 

These boards are:
• The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia
• The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
• Occupational Therapy Board of Australia 

Ministers decided that the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia will have 12 members, comprising eight practitioner members and four community members.  For this board, Ministers have appointed four diagnostic radiographers, two radiation therapists and two nuclear medicine technologists as the practitioner members.

Ministers were delighted with the response to the press advertisement for board member appointments which closed in April this year.  More than 200 candidates expressed interest in a board appointment.  Ministers were also pleased to see the strong field of candidates for both the practitioner and community members.

The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council also considered preferred accreditation arrangements for the next four professions, taking account of the views expressed in 25 submissions on this matter.  Ministers formed the view that the decision on preferred accreditation arrangements should be left to the National Boards.  The National Boards will therefore decide whether to either appoint an external body or establish an accreditation committee to undertake the accreditation functions for their professions under the national scheme. 

As the four professions have been partially regulated across Australia, Ministers acknowledge that a number of board members will be new to regulation and that there is a significant amount of work to do, but believe that with these appointments the new professions will be in good hands. 

Ministers were particularly pleased to note that there are 10 practitioner members and 3 community members who live in a rural or regional area.  Of the 26 practitioner members, 9 are members with education and training expertise.  Of the total of 39 members, 12 are male and 27 are female, which is representative of these professions.

Ministers welcome the board members to their new roles and wish them well over the coming years in building and strengthening the new national arrangements for the benefit of the whole Australian community.

The Hon Dr Kim Hames
Chair, Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council


Media contacts:   Peta Rule, Minister Hames’ office 0428 923 661
Paul Perry, Minister Roxon’s office 0427 249 435