Qld kicks off health practitioner laws

·2-min read

Health practitioners will be more closely scrutinised and those who pose a risk to community health and safety face new punishments under proposed Queensland laws, set to be replicated nationally.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath tabled the new laws in state parliament on Wednesday.

The laws will apply to health professionals registered under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, and set to be passed by other states.

Ms D'Ath said regulators would be given new powers to crack down on unregistered practitioners under the changes.

Authorities would be able to issue community warnings when a doctor is under investigation, facing disciplinary proceedings or poses a risk to public health.

"The major focus of the reforms in the bill is to strengthen public safety and increase public confidence in health services provided by registered health practitioners," Ms D'Ath told state parliament on Wednesday.

"The bill refocuses the guiding principles of the national law to make protection of the public and public confidence the paramount consideration in administering the law."

The minister said unqualified practitioners would also be banned from providing health services or using a specific title while under investigation.

"This will allow regulators to warn the public or relevant entities about serious risks that may impact them," Ms D'Ath said.

"These warnings could result in people receiving early treatment to mitigate risks to their health that they otherwise would not have known about."

Ms D'Ath said the public would be warned of potential risks about practitioners are found to routinely fail to uphold sterilisation procedures, potentially exposing patients to infections.

National regulators would also be able to strip a practitioner's registration if it was found to be improperly obtained using false or misleading information.

Suspended practitioners will also have to apply to renew their registration under the proposed amendments.

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