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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2890..

MR WOOD (continuing):

felled trees, and neither was injured. The possum left the tree overnight, and the bat left the tree after a few hours.

Health professionals regulations 2004

Paper and statement by minister

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Arts and Heritage, and Acting Minister for Health) Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I present the following paper:

Health Professionals Act-Health Professionals Regulations 2004-Exposure draft.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: These regulations have been developed to provide process and machinery provisions that support the operation of the Health Provisions Bill 2003 that we are about to debate. The regulations are an important source of instruction in relation to how powers and bodies established in the principal act are to be exercised and structured. Such matters have been set in regulation with the dual objectives of having an act that is not overwhelmed by instructional detail and to provide a legislative framework that is readily amenable to examination and review.

I draw the attention of members to some of the key features of the regulations. They provide for the construction of health professional boards to include community representation, they describe the responsibilities of health boards and provide guidance on the assessment of applicants for registration as health professionals. Detail is included about processes that will assist health professionals to maintain their suitability to practise, ensuring added protection to the public against risk of harm which, of course, is the primary aim of the legislation.

Boards are facilitated through the processes in this regulation to establish programs and standards specific to their profession and ensure that health professionals maintain their competence. They also contain generic standards of practice that, if breached, may indicate that the health professional is not suitable to practise. Acknowledging that individual health professions have differing characteristics and, therefore, differing professional requirements the Health Professionals Bill will allow individual health professions to develop their own profession specific regulations.

Those regulations will be formed as schedules to these regulations and will be prescriptive about areas such as qualifications required for suitability to practise in the profession, the criteria for demonstrating continuing competence, board membership, any insurance requirements and a range of other factors specific to the profession. Included in the regulations is an example of a schedule that is being developed with the medical board. I am pleased to table this exposure draft ahead of the later debate.

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