National Code of Conduct for health care workers update

National Code of Conduct for health care workers update

General, Government, Industry, Practise

Australian Association of Massage Therapists welcomes the first National Code of Conduct for health care workers, as agreed by the COAG Health Council.

AAMT CEO, Tricia Hughes said, ‘The agreement sets in place a code of conduct and standards of practice for all unregistered health workers including massage and it is a welcome development.’

For the national code to become a reality each state and territory must enact statutory powers to enforce the Code which includes:

  • a single national Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners to be made by regulation in each state and territory, and statutory powers to enforce the Code by investigating breaches and issuing prohibition orders;
  • a nationally accessible web based register of prohibition orders; and
  • mutual recognition of state and territory issued prohibition orders.

‘We encourage all jurisdictions to establish appropriate mechanisms as soon as possible to ensure an effective National Code and Registration scheme,’ Ms Hughes said.

The process of investigating this issue commenced in the late 1990s and there are still many loopholes in the current federal and state legislative framework supporting the National Code.

Ms Hughes added that the ongoing work to address the issue of persons holding themselves out to be registered Health Professionals has the potential to address the regulatory bias that stifles competitions in the health sector. ‘Registration as Health Professionals would do much to address these issues for highly qualified Remedial Massage therapists,’
‘A collaborative approach involving state and federal governments, health funds and the massage sector is needed to achieve policies and programs that can weed out unscrupulous and unprofessional operators and recognize legitimate qualification for the benefit of patients and the health system as a whole,’ Ms Hughes said. Read the full communique here.