Friday, November 6, 2009

Who's behind Roxon's betrayal of Women's Birth Choices?

I wonder who?

This report in the Medical Observor might give some clues?

Government to mandate nurse practitioner teamwork

Andrew Bracey and Shannon McKenzie - Friday, 6 November 2009

AFTER months of intense lobbying, the Government has bowed to GP pressure and amended proposed legislation to ensure nurse practitioners must work in collaborative partnerships with doctors.
In what is being heralded as a win for the profession, Health Minister Nicola Roxon last week announced the new stipulation would be built into legislation that will grant nurse practitioners access to the MBS and PBS from November 2010.
However, the victory has been tempered by the news that legislation effectively handing politicians’ control of medical education and training standards has been passed by the Queensland Parliament, and will now begin its national rollout.
AMA Queensland president Dr Mason Stevenson said it would be “doubly hard” to win concessions now, and added the lack of outrage from grassroots doctors had made the lobbying efforts of the organisation more difficult.
The amendments to the nurse practitioner legislation will come as welcome relief for doctors, who feared that without mandated collaborative arrangements in place nurse practitioners would work independently and fragment care.
AMA vice-president Dr Steve Hambleton, who sits on the Government’s Nurse Practitioner Advisory Group (NPAG), said the crucial amendment would ensure nurse practitioners were not supported to work in competition with doctors.
“It clarifies the Government position – their [intention] was always there, but the clarification was not, and the fact the Government has brought this amendment forward is a good sign,” Dr Hambleton said.
In a statement Ms Roxon said the amendment had come “following requests for clarification” on the legislation. She told MO the Government had always been committed to ensuring team care. “I think everyone can recognise the skills of other professionals without fragmenting care.”
RACGP president Dr Chris Mitchell welcomed the news and said he was confident that NPAG would develop satisfactory frameworks.
Meanwhile, the fight for amendments to the national registration and accreditation scheme is set to shift into state parliaments. The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Bill 2009 passed by the Queensland Parliament will now be adopted by all states and territories.
After failing to gain amendments to the initial legislation, doctors’ groups are now lobbying for changes at a local level.
The NSW, Victoria and WA state branches of the AMA are all calling for the insertion of a “public interest test” into the legislation, which would have to be satisfied before politicians could change medical education or training standards.
There will also be a last-minute push for further exemptions to the legislation’s mandatory reporting clauses, which will force doctors to report their spouses for any professional misconduct.

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