The hottest issue on the medico-political agenda over the last year or so has been the much foreshadowed reform to nationalise registration & accreditation for health care professionals. Details have finally been published by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council and are available here.

The most specific outcome pertaining to students is that the new national medical board will be required to register medical students. This will not be new for Victorian medical students as we are all already required to register with the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria when we commence first year, however it will bring other states in line with us. This will allow the national board to take an interest in student impairment or serious legal convictions where public safety is at risk, as already occurs in Victoria. Are there any other implications? Well we have heard stories where on rare occassions interstate students have had difficult completing training (e.g. elective) in states other than their own due to registration issues so we hope national registration of students will alleviate this ridiculousness!

AMSA and the AMA have naturally been working hard to represent medical students and the medical profession in general in this issue. Broadly speaking, AMSA supports National Registration as it will finally allow our tertiary qualifications (i.e. MBBS) to be universally recognised around Australia and thus allow medical graduates from an Australian uni to be able to practice freely anywhere in this great country. HOWEVER, The serious reservations concern national accreditation, which we worry will the government to meddle with accreditation standards of Australian medical degrees to suit workforce needs and will detrimentally effect the high regard Australian medical graduates currently have in the global arena. You can read AMSA’s full submission to the government here. And if you’re interested further in the issue the AMA has its say here.

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