Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - 2020/21 annual summary

2020/21 annual summary

Snapshot

  • 17,844 medical radiation practitioners
    • Down 2.2% from 2019/20
    • 2.2% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 68.5% female; 31.5% male

Age

Age: <25 = 8.6%, 25 to 34 = 36.1%, 35 to 44 = 25.8, 45 to 54 = 16.0%, 55 to 64 = 10.5%, 65 to 74 = 2.8%, >75 = 0.1%

Divisions

13,946 diagnostic radiographers
13 diagnostic radiographers and nuclear medicine technologists
2 diagnostic radiographers and radiation therapists
1,252 nuclear medicine technologists
2,631 radiation therapists
17,844 Total

Regulating

Notifications

  • 40 notifications lodged with Ahpra
    • 39 registered medical radiation practitioners Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data, had notifications made about them
    • 0.2% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: Patient, relative or member of the public 37.5%, Other practitioner 15.0%, Employer 15.0%, HCE 7.5%, Board’s own motion 5.0%, Other 20.0%

  • 6 immediate actions taken

  • 7 mandatory notifications received
    • 2 about professional standards

Most common types of complaints

Most common types of complaints: Clinical care 27.5%, Health impairment 15.0%, Boundary violation 15.0%, Communication 10.0%, Offence against other law 7.5%, Confidentiality 7.5%, Other 17.5%

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 31 notifications closed, 16.1% conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted, 9.7% received a caution or reprimand, 9.7% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 64.5% no further action

Monitoring

  • 27 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 63 cases being monitored at 30 June:
    • 3 for conduct
    • 8 for health reasons
    • 2 for performance
    • 6 for prohibited practitioner/student
    • 44 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

  • 3 criminal offence complaints made
    • 2 about title protection
    • 1 about advertising breaches
  • 6 were closed

Referred to an adjudication body

  • No matters decided by a tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • 1 appeal

A report from the Chair

Issues this year

This year was again a busy one, and while we were getting on with the business of regulation it was entwined with the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia conducted its business through video link.

Accreditation

In March, the Board approved updates to accreditation standards relating to the National Scheme’s definition of cultural safety, and information relevant to the quality use of medicines. The Board also requested the Accreditation Committee consult on accreditation fees for the purpose of ensuring the costs of accreditation are distributed evenly. The Board approved a revised fee schedule at its May meeting.

The Accreditation Committee annually monitors 25 accredited programs in medical radiation practice from 11 education providers across Australia.

Policy and project updates

Financial hardship policy

To counter some of the impact of COVID-19, the Board established a financial hardship policy. This policy was established to enable those who wished to be registered to practise but may have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise have difficulty in paying registration fees.

Supervised practice

The Board modified supervised practice arrangements to allow more flexible arrangements in response to the pandemic. These changes have been retained and allow supervised practitioners to move through the program more quickly while still ensuring that supervised practitioners meet the standards of practice necessary for general registration.

Videos developed to support practice

The Board developed a video on the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice requirements around cultural competency and cultural safety.

Pandemic sub-register for diagnostic radiographers

In April 2020, a pandemic response sub-register for diagnostic radiographers was established to support Australia’s health workforce for a period of 12 months. In April 2021, the Board agreed that the sub-register for diagnostic radiographers had fulfilled its purpose and was no longer required. Over 60 practitioners returned to the main register following the closing of the pandemic sub-register.

Stakeholder engagement

Like so many organisations, the way we engaged with stakeholders changed throughout 2020 and 2021 due to limits on movement and in-person meetings. A positive impact of this change is a greater willingness by the Board and its stakeholders to engage through video conferencing, which has significant benefits for time, travel and costs.

The Board met with Medical Radiations Australia, the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine, Australian Sonographers Association and others to discuss issues in medical radiation practice, particularly the impact of COVID-19 on practice and education.

Other news

The ease of video conferencing enabled more regular engagement with some stakeholders. For programs like Teaching on the Run supervisor training, the move to online learning has been both challenging and rewarding for learners and facilitators. The Board thanks the current facilitators for the time and their commitment to helping deliver the program.

Mr Mark Marcenko

 
 
Page reviewed 26/11/2021