Doctors oppose new powers for regulators to manage ‘risks to public safety’

Alternative union groups formed to oppose vaccine mandates, the Health Workers Regulation National Act used during the pandemic to punish health workers for opposing government-backed lockdowns and mandates. resisting new amendments that strengthen the powers of

In a filing to the Queensland Parliament, the Australian Society of Medical Professionals (AMPS) and the Australian Association of Nursing Professionals said the new amendment contained overly broad terms and called it “an attempt to correct health authorities.” It says it will silence the voices of experts.

Both unions were formed under the umbrella of the Red Union Group, which was established in 2020 in response to widespread acceptance of vaccine mandates by traditional union groups in Australia.

Membership has grown steadily to around 17,000, with Queensland having the highest number.

Amendments to the Health Workers Regulation national law, which applies to all Australian states, will allow regulators to respond to “risks to public safety” and take action against people who violate public protection laws, according to the bill. are given additional powers to cause Annotation (pdf).

In addition, employers are compelled (by obligation) to notify practitioners who have engaged in conduct deemed to “endanger patients or the public,” and to the relevant governing health authority if an individual is penalized.

These penalties include “withdrawing or revoking a practitioner’s clinical privileges at a hospital because the employer reasonably believes that the practitioner has deviated significantly from accepted professional standards and is at risk of harm to the public. include “to limit”.

Don’t improve trust in public health systems: Red Union

In response, Red Union-affiliated groups argued that the “broad and discretionary nature” of terms such as “public safety and trust” are already being used to compel health professionals to comply with government directives. said to be a tool.

“The idea that failure to comply with government mandates poses an imminent risk to patient safety is dangerous to evidence-based patient care. I don’t think the annotation is clear as to the risk-based approach used. ”pdf) from AMPS and the Nursing Professionals Association.

“Furthermore, AMPS cannot support extending laws that publicly name and shame practitioners who ‘pose a risk to public safety’ without defining how the risks should be interpreted. ” result of scrutiny.

Scrutiny of COVID-19 controls is slowly gaining momentum

All Australian health professionals are governed by 15 National Boards governing individual areas from dentistry to midwifery, in partnership with the highest accrediting body, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) .

AHPRA and individual medical committees go viral for suspending several health professionals for speaking out and questioning the efficacy of government-backed restrictions, vaccine mandates and even jabs in pandemic year became.

One example of enforcement is the suspension of anesthesiologist Dr. Paul Oosterhuis in September 2021 after two “anonymous complaints” were filed regarding his social media activity.

Oosterhuis, a 30-year practitioner, revealed in an online petition that he posted content about early treatment for COVID-19 while questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns and PCR testing.

Human rights attorney Peter Pham said he had spoken to “hundreds” of doctors who expressed concern about the silence of their various views, noting that many were reluctant to speak publicly.

In recent months, there are signs that the previous consensus on managing COVID-19 is beginning to crumble, with criticism of lockdowns and mandates gaining mainstream traction.

In June, the Supreme Court of New South Wales overturned a disciplinary action against a Western Sydney University student who was skeptical of COVID-19 vaccination.

Australia’s leaders have defended decisions they made in 2020-21, after a major October report scathingly criticized state governments’ frequent lockdowns and school closures. I was forced to

Daniel Y. Teng


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]