Holding unregistered health practitioners to account: an analysis of current regulatory and legislative approaches

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of law and medicine, 2014, 22 (2), pp. 350 - 375
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An increasingly large part of health care delivery in Australia is provided by unregistered health practitioners, who have not been historically subject to formal regulatory arrangements and instead have been held to account via a milieu of non-specific regulatory and legislative obligations. This article explores current trends in the regulation of unregistered practitioners in civil law, criminal law and in the development of new regulatory tools such as "negative licensing". In addition, this article conducts an empirical analysis of the favoured model for extending accountability to unregistered health practitioners (negative licensing) by examining its application in New South Wales. Based on this analysis, it is argued that although negative licensing offers greater protections than previous models, it should not be viewed as a replacement for extension of statutory registration to new health disciplines, and instead should be viewed as a complementary measure to existing and new statutory registration arrangements.
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