The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) has welcomed the announcement today from the Medical Board of Australia about the new Professional Performance Framework that will support doctors to take responsibility for their own performance and encourage the profession collectively to raise professional standards and build a positive, respectful culture in medicine that benefits patients and doctors.
“Under these proposed changes doctors, once they turn 70 will have to demonstrate that they remain fit to keep treating patients. We also welcome the move to monitor medical students and junior medicos for possible integrity issues,” Dr Magnusson said.
After five years of development, the reforms in the Professional Performance Framework were released yesterday. The framework proposes registered doctors take part in at least 50 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) every year to review their performance, measure their outcomes and update their education. All Specialist Plastic Surgeons are Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and already meet these requirements.
“The ethics and abilities of a doctor to perform their duties need to be sharp at all times, and we cannot have medical practitioners out in the community, especially in remote and regional parts of Australia where access to services is limited, causing more harm than good.
“The inability of even one medical practitioner to perform his or her duties to a satisfactory level has the potential to harm our whole profession.
“We especially commend the Medical Board of Australia for their crackdown on medical professionals who, from early in their careers, are showing signs of operating unethically.
“The influence medical professionals have on patients should not be underestimated, and therefore it’s vital that we are only providing people who have demonstrated they are of good moral standing with the privilege of providing medical services in this country,” Dr Magnusson said.
The checks for those aged 70 or over will focus on the doctors’ fitness to practice, for example, cognitive function, eyesight and hearing.
“We are very fortunate amongst our ASAPS members to have senior colleagues who have dedicated their lives to improving the standards of patient care and safety. They are still providing high-quality services, and we would not want to stop them from doing what they’re doing without cause as their contribution has been enormous. These new guidelines will give patients and practitioners confidence that age is not a barrier to good quality health care.
“However, it’s important that a doctor knows their limits and operate within their scope of practice to ensure patient safety,” Dr Magnusson said.
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