Dental profession growing, says AHPRA

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The AHPRA annual report says the dental profession is growing.
The AHPRA annual report says the dental profession is growing.

The annual report of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards has been published, and it shows the dental profession is the second-fastest growing medical profession (behind physiotherapists). AHPRA estimates that Dentists, dental specialists, dental therapists, dental hygienists, oral health therapists and dental prosthetists, who make up the dental profession, increased in number by 4.19 per cent to 19,087 in the last year.

AHPRA renewed the registration of 557,000 health practitioners during the year, including the biggest ever health practitioner renewal in Australia when more than 330,000 nurses and midwives renewed by May 2012. Its data reveals that 13 per cent of all registered health practitioners are aged 50–54 years, and there were 58,620 practitioners with specialist registration across three professions (dental practice, medical practice and podiatry) on 30 June 2012. Of these, only 1,541 practitioners were registered to practise in a dental specialty—the vast majority of the rest were in a medical specialty.

AHPRA CEO, Mr Martin Fletcher, said the 2012 annual report revealed the scope of AHPRA’s work, with one in every 39 Australians a registered health practitioner.

“The numbers in the annual report are large, indicating the National Scheme is working very smoothly and at a scale never before undertaken in Australia in health practitioner regulation,” he said.

The report reveals:

•  the number of registered health practitioners in Australia increased by more than three per cent (18,000) to 548,000 by June 2012, including 3,355 more doctors

•  there were 7,594 notifications (concerns) about health practitioners made in 2012; 775 of them were mandatory reports. The number and type of voluntary notifications made was broadly consistent with 2011. There was an increase in mandatory reports, especially in Queensland

•  of more than 68,000 criminal history checks conducted, 400 were assessed as having the potential to affect registration, and the registration of nine practitioners was restricted or refused as a result

•  AHPRA renewed the registration of 557,000 health practitioners during the year, including the biggest ever health practitioner renewal in Australia when more than 330,000 nurses and midwives renewed by May 2012

A copy of the report is available online here.

 

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