As of June 2022, Australian authorities have received approximately 1,300 complaints against health workers who may have violated or criticized public health advice regarding COVID-19.
The Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA), which manages the accreditation of health professionals across the country, said it had received about 10,000 notifications during the 2021-22 financial year.
About 1,300 of those were COVID-19-related issues, according to a statement to The Epoch Times.
From that group, AHPRA limited the enrollment of 28 health care workers by “immediate action” for conduct deemed to “pose a significant risk to the public or otherwise be in the public interest.” was imposed.
“Of the 28 learners, 21 have been suspended.
AHPRA works with 15 organizations representing key professionals such as nurses, paramedics, and doctors.
The group imposes hard limits on what medical professionals can and cannot say about COVID-19 issues, including vaccine efficacy, mask mandates, and lockdowns.
According to the Position Statement dated March 9, 2021 (pdf), healthcare professionals must not promote “anti-vaccine statements or health advice” that contradict the “best available scientific evidence”.
The statement has been criticized by human rights lawyer Peter Pham.
“The best scientific evidence available doesn’t exist. It’s always changing. That’s the nature of science, the nature of evidence,” he told the Epoch Times in an earlier interview.
However, as a result, several medical professionals have been suspended for a range of actions deemed to violate this rule.
One example 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.
In the same month, veteran paramedic John Larter was also suspended after he filed a lawsuit against the New South Wales Health Department over vaccine mandates.
Strengthening rules on public security matters
Meanwhile, new changes are pending to national healthcare worker regulation legislation, which is partially administered by AHPRA.
The amendment, which has been passed by the Queensland Parliament and will be replicated in all Australian states, gives regulators to address “risks to public safety” and to those who violate public protection laws. Bill Explanatory Notes (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.
In response, the emerging union group Red Union said the “broad and discretionary nature” of terms such as “public safety and trust” are used to compel health professionals to follow 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 there is clear commentary provided regarding the risk-based approach used.pdf) from the Australian Society of Medical Professionals (AMPS) and the Association of Nurse Professionals.
“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.