15 Nov 2017
The Chinese medicine health workforce grew by 2.1% over the past year, to 4,860 total registrants, according to data released today in the 2016/17 annual report published by AHPRA and the National Boards.
The annual report is a comprehensive record of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) for the 12 months to 30 June 2017.
While Chinese medicine practitioners constitute a relatively small proportion of the 678,983 registrants currently in the National Scheme, the profession continues to grow year on year.
In order to protect the public, the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (the Board) took a proactive approach to engaging with the profession this year.
‘A key focus for the Board during the year was to ensure practitioners are aware of their professional obligations under the National Law,’ said Professor Charlie Xue, Chair of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. ‘To that end, the Board published a series of quick reference guides, which provide concise, clear information for practitioners about safe Chinese herbal medicine practice.’
Minor amendments were also made to the key resource, the Nomenclature compendium of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines, and, following wide consultation, the Board published new guidelines for creating and maintaining health records. It also released a Position statement on endangered species and Chinese medicine in Australia.
More highlights for the year included the Board sending a delegation to China for the first time, and the establishment of the Chinese Medicine Reference Group (CMRG).
‘The CMRG is made up of individual practitioner members, community members, and representatives of professional associations and education institutions,’ said Professor Xue. ‘The purpose of the group is to promote a common understanding of the National Scheme, and to have members of both the community and profession share thoughts and give advice on policy and other matters.’
The 2016/17 annual report provides a nationwide snapshot of the work of AHPRA and the Boards and highlights a multi-profession approach to risk-based regulation, with a clear focus on ensuring that Australians have a safe and competent health workforce.
‘There are now almost 680,000 registered health practitioners across Australia,’ said AHPRA CEO Mr Martin Fletcher. ‘This Annual Report highlights our strong and shared commitment with the Board to ensure the public has access to a competent, qualified registered health workforce and to take decisive action when required to keep the community safe.’
To view the 2016/17 annual report, along with supplementary tables that segment data across categories such as registrations, notifications, statutory offences, tribunals and appeals, and monitoring and compliance, visit the Annual Report microsite.
In the coming weeks, AHPRA and the National Boards will also publish summaries of our work regulating health practitioners in each of the 14 registered health professions. Jurisdictional reports, which present data on registered health practitioners in each state and territory, will be published in December.