More ‘new recruits’: AHPRA ‘opts in’ 40,000 retired health practitioners onto register to fight COVID-19

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The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Medical Board of Australia, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Pharmacy Board of Australia have launched a new opt-out pandemic sub-register to fast-track the return of 40,000 health practitioners to the healthcare sector.

The register – which will be in place for 12 months – will register all doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists who previously held registration or moved to non-practising registration in the last three years (provided they were not the subject or regulatory action) automatically.

Practitioners will not need to meet the usual return to practice requirement or pay fees – but will have to opt out to remove themselves from the list which will be starting from tomorrow.

AHPRA says even if they only achieve a 5 to 10% strike rate, that will be another 2,000 to 4,000 practitioners who will rejoin the health system.

They are not stopping there either.

Physiotherapists and radiographers are also expected to the register be added in the near-future, with registrations for newly graduated medical students, as well as internationally qualified doctors, nurses and pharmacists already living in Australia, also being fast-tracked.

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