The AMA welcomes the COAG decision to adopt much of Federal Government's preferred model for nine national health professional boards to run registration and accreditation of training for each of the nine health professions.
AMA President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, said that overall this is great news for the health professions and their patients.
This means there will be nationally consistent standards for registration and professional peer-based accreditation standards, and a more mobile health workforce,' Dr Haikerwal said.
It also means that communities and patients will continue to have access to high quality health care across the country.
It is our understanding from the communiqué that COAG has agreed that decisions relating to professional standards will be made by Ministers on advice from the respective National Professional Board.
We also understand that decisions by Ministers are to be consensus decisions.
COAG has also established an independent Advisory Council to provide policy advice to the Health Ministers.
While the AMA has concerns about the role of this Council, we have been advised that there would be safeguards to ensure the Committee did not work against the best interests or the independence of the professions.
We will work with governments in the implementation of the new system and will seek input to the role and membership of the Advisory Council.
The AMA notes the significant role played by the Prime Minister and the Health Minister, Tony Abbott, in strongly pushing a more sensible and workable national registration model than the one originally proposed.
They have recognised the unique skills and contributions of each of the health professions and responded to the health needs of the community.
We also recognise the wisdom and political acumen of the Premiers and Chief Ministers for supporting a system that will deliver better health services to their States and Territories, Dr Haikerwal said.