Do we trust our doctors? Why UK-style revalidation in Australia would be a big mistake


Doctor's bag

Revalidation of doctors

Australian doctors are kept on a short leash. I recently renewed my registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This annual ritual is always interesting.

Like thousands of other doctors, I first had to fill out an online questionnaire. As usual, AHPRA wanted to know if I had a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder – including substance abuse or dependence – that would detrimentally affect my capacity to work as a doctor. They reminded me I’m required by law to declare any impairments.

I had to answer questions about my criminal record, compliance with the law, continuous professional development, indemnity insurance, work history and even immigration status. If I did not give the required information, I could lose my registration.

Finally, I had to make a declaration that I spoke nothing but the truth, and I dutifully transferred the required $724 into AHPRA’s bank account.

High professional standards

The…

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