July 2021

Issue 26 - July 2021


Chair's message

Wayne Minter

Welcome to the Chiropractic Board of Australia’s newsletter.

As we adapt to COVID-normal, the Board continues to work virtually responding to issues and focusing on the strategic objectives of the Board. We recognise that ongoing lockdowns can be disruptive to your practice and thank you for following your local state or territory government’s public health advice.

The Board, together with all Nationals Boards and Ahpra are reminding practitioners that there is no place for sexism, sexual harassment or gendered violence in healthcare. I encourage you to read below for more information on the statement which has been recently released.

I would also like to congratulate Ms Anne Burgess AM, community member, who was recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to mental health, to gender equality and to older people.

Dr Wayne Minter AM
Chiropractor
Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia

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Board news

No place for sexism, sexual harassment or gendered violence in healthcare

There is no place for sexism, sexual harassment or gendered violence in healthcare. Ahpra and National Boards want to remind registered health practitioners of their professional obligations and encourage speaking up about disrespectful behaviour and unprofessional conduct in healthcare. 

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the National Boards have published a joint statement, No place for sexism, sexual harassment or violence in healthcare.

Our expectations of practitioner conduct and respectful, professional behaviour, including maintaining appropriate professional boundaries, are set out in Chiropractic Board of Australia’s Code of conduct.

Practitioners must always treat patients, consumers, students, employees and colleagues with respect. They must always communicate professionally and respectfully with and about others, including when using social media. Respect is a cornerstone of good, professional practice and it is fundamental to the Australian community’s trust in registered health practitioners.

There is no place for sexism, sexual harassment or gendered violence in healthcare. Ahpra and National Boards explicitly condemn this behaviour by registered health practitioners.

Ahpra and the National Boards encourage chiropractors to speak up if they witness or experience disrespectful behaviour or unprofessional conduct. Together, we can all help build and maintain a culture of respect in healthcare that facilitates better patient outcomes and contributes to safer care.

Read our joint statement for more information about where and how to raise concerns about disrespectful behaviour and unprofessional conduct in healthcare. Concerns about a registered health practitioner’s unprofessional conduct, including sexual harassment, should be reported to Ahpra. For more information, visit the Ahpra website.

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Know your obligations: professional indemnity insurance (PII)

It is important that you are aware of and understand your obligations when it comes to PII.  You must not practise without appropriate and adequate PII arrangements in place for your circumstances. PII protects the public by covering them against injuries or loss that arise if damage is caused in the course of practice. Your patients are at serious risk of harm if you do not have appropriate PII arrangements in place.  

When you renew your registration, you are asked to make a declaration that you have been practising with appropriate PII. Making a false declaration and deliberately misleading the Board is a serious matter. The declarations you make at renewal must be honest and accurate. 

The PII registration standard applies to all registered chiropractors except those with student or non-practising registration. Now is a good time to check you have appropriate PII arrangements and ensure you understand your obligations.  

Have you updated your continuing professional development (CPD) portfolio?

CPD is an important way for you to maintain and improve your knowledge and skills and to stay up to date in your area of practice. Check your CPD portfolio and ensure it is up to date ahead of renewing your registration in November 2021.

Your CPD portfolio must record your learning goals and CPD activities that you plan to do or have done this year to meet those goals. There are resources on the Board's website including a checklist, tips for planning and reflecting on your CPD. By planning CPD you are more likely to meet your learning goals and improve your competence and patient outcomes. 

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Get to know your Board

Dr Arcady Turczynowicz, practitioner member from South Australia

Dr Arcady Turczynowicz was first appointed to the Chiropractic Board of Australia in 2017. We asked Arcady to tell us about his background, his role as a practitioner member and his vision for the profession.

Dr A Turczynowicz

What is your background?

I graduated from Macquarie University’s chiropractic program in 1992 after completing a Bachelor of Science at Adelaide University in 1990. I have been in private practice since 1994 with a number of family members who are also chiropractors. I have previously held board positions with the Chiropractors Association of Australia (SA) and the South Australian Chiropractic and Osteopathy Board. 

What attracted you to the role of practitioner member on the Board?

I have always enjoyed the caring and personal nature of our profession and have met many wonderful people along the way. I am very proud of what the chiropractic profession has achieved, and I want to make sure we maintain high professional standards to ensure people are given the safest and best possible care. 

What Board roles and functions are you passionate about?

It’s really important to me that we continue to help practitioners understand their professional standards and framework. I care about people, and patients deserve to receive the best the chiropractic profession can offer.

What is your vision for the profession?

I would like to see chiropractors continue to be trusted and respected through providing world’s best practice and evidence-based care to all Australians. We need to be leaders in this field. 

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Students and graduates

Consultations: We want to hear from you too

An important step in the Board’s review of its registration standards, codes and guidelines is consultation. The feedback the Board receives in consultations helps keep regulation clear, effective and proportionate. The Board regularly seeks feedback from the profession and the community on regulatory issues and policies and standards

As students and new graduates, you are encouraged to provide feedback to the Board’s consultations. Your feedback will help to make policies and standards more relevant to practitioners and assist us in our role of protecting the public

Keep an eye on the Current consultations page on our website.

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Registration

Latest workforce data released

The Board released its latest quarterly data report in May. Data cover 1 January to 31 March 2021. At that time, there were 5,948 registered chiropractors in Australia.

Registration type by principal place of practice (PPP)

Registration types

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

No PPP

Total

General

65

1,854

24

885

365

67

1,499

732

69

5,560

Limited

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

Non-practising

3

85

2

50

15

1

78

25

128

387

Total

68

1,939

26

936

380

68

1,577

757

197

5,948

 

For further information, including data breakdowns by age and gender, visit the Statistics page on our website.

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Regulation at work

The Board publishes court and tribunal summaries for their educational value to the profession and the public.

Chiropractor's registration cancelled for inappropriately touching patients

A Perth chiropractor has had his registration cancelled and been disqualified from applying for registration as a health practitioner for four and a half years after he was found to have inappropriately touched five female patients. Read more.


Alerts

Information for practitioners on the voluntary assisted dying law in Western Australia

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 (WA) (the Act) came into full effect on 1 July 2021. Registered health practitioners need to be aware of the Act and its requirements. There are some provisions that are relevant to all registered health practitioners (and healthcare workers) and some provisions that are more specifically relevant to medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and paramedics.

Resources, including the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Guidelines, have been developed by the WA Department of Health and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Leadership Team in collaboration with stakeholders.

The following resource provides a starting point for health practitioners in understanding their obligations, responsibilities and protections under the Act:

For further information, visit the website.

Information for practitioners on changes to Queensland Criminal Code: Child Sexual Offences

As of 5 July 2021, Queensland’s Criminal Code Act 1899 is amended under the Criminal Code (Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 to include two new offences (Criminal Code, Chapter 22 – Offences against morality):

  • ss. 229BB – Failure to protect a child from a sexual offence: will make it an offence to fail to protect a child from a sexual offence in an institutional setting. The offence will be punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for an ‘accountable person’ who fails to protect a child from a sexual offence.
  • ss. 229BC – Failure to report sexual offending against a child to police: will make it an offence for any adult not to report sexual offending against a child by another adult to police. This obligation extends outside of the workplace to our responsibility as members of the Queensland community to protect children.The offence will be punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment for any adult who fails to report child sexual abuse to police.

The offences recognise the difficulties victims have in disclosing or reporting abuse, the vulnerability of children, and the risk that perpetrators of child sexual abuse may have multiple victims and may continue to reoffend against particular victims over lengthy periods of time.

The Criminal Code amendment does not replace the mandatory reporting obligations of doctors and registered nurses under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) (the CP Act).

This advice applies to all registered health practitioners; for further information please visit: www.qld.gov.au/law/crime-and-police/types-of-crime/sexual-offences-against-children.

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National Scheme news 

Vaccine rollout support from retired practitioners: pandemic sub-register extended

Ahpra and National Boards have extended the support available from retired nurses, doctors and other registered health practitioners on the pandemic response sub-register for a further 12 months from early April. This was done in response to a request by the Australian Government.

The decision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners, medical practitioners, midwives, nurses and pharmacists to remain on the sub-register was made to provide additional support for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

The sub-register will be extended for eligible practitioners until 5 April 2022. Practitioners on the extended sub-register will be limited to helping with the vaccination rollout.

For further details, read the news item.

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Ahpra to establish new committee looking at accreditation reform

Ahpra will establish a new, independently chaired committee to consider key accreditation issues, in response to a new policy direction from the Health Council.

The new committee will have broad stakeholder membership to give independent and expert advice on accreditation reform issues to Ahpra’s Agency Management Committee. The new committee will replace Ahpra’s Accreditation Advisory Committee set up in 2020.

The Independent Review of Accreditation Systems (ASR) Final Report, Australia’s health workforce: strengthening the education foundation, recommended that Health Ministers issue the policy direction.

Ahpra and the National Boards welcomed the policy direction, which requires Ahpra, the National Boards and accreditation authorities to consider the new committee’s advice when exercising their functions under the National Law.

Under the policy direction, Ahpra, National Boards and accreditation authorities must document the outcome of their consideration of the new committee’s advice in meeting minutes, communiqués or other relevant formats.

Ahpra and National Boards will continue to work collaboratively with accreditation authorities through the Accreditation Liaison Group and the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum.

The policy direction can be viewed on the Ahpra website.

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Improvements made to notifier confidentiality safeguards

All improvements recommended in the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman’s (NHPO) Review of confidentiality safeguards for people making notifications about health practitioners have now been implemented or are underway.

The review found that Ahpra’s management of confidential and anonymous notifications offered reasonable safeguards for notifiers and was consistent with the practices of other regulators globally.

The NHPO recommendations to strengthen Ahpra’s policies, guidance, communications and systems to further mitigate risk of harm to notifiers have now been implemented. These include:

  • updating relevant policies to reflect that possible confidentiality safeguards for the notifier will be considered when assessing each new notification
  • publishing an updated privacy policy and collection statement to clarify how personal information will be used and disclosed, and
  • providing new guidance to staff about how to safeguard confidentiality, including in relation to redacting a notifier’s information and sharing a notifier’s information with the relevant practitioner.

As part of this work, we also recognised the importance of procedural fairness for practitioners. Following consultation with professional associations and professional indemnity providers, we have published a new guide for staff to help them manage complaints which may have insufficient detail to allow practitioners to respond meaningfully.

We have also published a vexatious notifications framework and introduced new training for staff in how to identify and manage vexatious complaints.

For more information, read the news item.

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Check out our latest podcasts

Ahpra hosts conversations and interviews with people in our community. We discuss current issues, address myths and common questions, and think about what we can do to best protect the public and support the safe provision of healthcare in Australia.

The Taking care podcast series offers professional and consumer perspectives on current issues and answers some frequently asked questions about public safety in healthcare. Ahpra releases a new Taking care episode fortnightly.

Download and listen to the latest Taking care episode today. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking care’ in your podcast player.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit our website for news about the profession and for registration standards, codes, guidelines, policies and fact sheets.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Dr Wayne Minter, Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 20/07/2021