AHPRA annual report reveals how the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia worked to protect the public in 2016/17

15 Nov 2017

The Medical Radiation Practice health workforce grew by 2.5% over the past year, to 15,683 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.

Medical radiation practitioners now constitute 2.3% of the 678,983 registrants currently in the National Scheme, and the number is likely to grow thanks to a 13% increase in the number of registered students during the year (3,895 at 30 June 2016, from 3,447 at 30 June 2017).

The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia took a proactive approach to raising awareness about the obligations of registered medical radiation practitioners during the year, beginning a strategic communications drive about important considerations that will reduce risk of harm to the public.

‘Radiation safety in paediatric imaging is of primary concern, and we want to make sure all practitioners are armed with the knowledge necessary to keep the public safe,’ said Mr Mark Marcenko, Chair of the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia. ‘Using radiation safely is essential to good practice, and the potential for radiation-induced harm is always at the forefront of decision-making in clinical practice.’

Another focus for the year was developing information to assist practitioners in understanding the minimum requirements for practice.

“Elements of practice that reduce risk of harm and contribute positively to patient outcomes include: hygiene, recognising and responding to the deteriorating patient, and communicating significant findings,” said.Mr Marcenko.

More information will be available in a Board-specific summary report to be released in the coming weeks.

A snapshot of the profession

  • Easy to renew: This year saw the largest online registration renewal rate ever achieved across all 14 registered health professions. Over 98.5% of all registrants renewed online and on time, with 98.4% of Medical Radiation Practice practitioners renewing online).
  • Increased registration year on year: While medical radiation practitioners made up just 2.3% of all health practitioners registered nationally, the total registrant base for the profession continues to grow (to 15,683 registrants in 2016/17; up from 15,303 in 2015/16).
  • Students on the register: As at 30 June 2017, there were 3,895 medical radiation practice students, representing an increase of 13% from 2015/16 (3,447 students). 
  • Complaints received about medical radiation practitioners: There were 23 notifications (complaints or concerns) lodged with AHPRA about medical radiation practitioners in 2016/17, down from 48 made in the previous year. This represents 0.3% of the profession in 2016/17.
  • Of 29 matters closed, in 2016/17: 17.2% resulted in the Board accepting an undertaking or conditions being imposed on the practitioners’ registration; 20.7% resulted in a caution or reprimand; and 58.6% resulted in no further action being taken.
  • Statutory offences by medical radiation practitioners: Four new complaints were made this year relating to possible statutory offences by medical radiation practitioners. Three related to title protection and one was about advertising. AHPRA and the Board closed nine statutory offence matters in 2016/17.
  • Immediate action was taken twice to restrict or suspend the registration of medical radiation practitioners as an interim measure to protect the public while notifications were being investigated.
  • Active monitoring cases as at 30 June 2017: 17 medical radiation practitioners were monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year.

The 2016/17 annual report provides a nationwide snapshot of the work of AHPRA and the National Boards. It highlights a multi-profession approach to risk-based regulation, with a clear focus on ensuring that the public are protected.

‘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.

For more information

Page reviewed 15/11/2017