Dear Minister ,
I am writing to request your urgent opposition to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022. This Bill is to be debated in the Queensland Parliament on 11 October 2022.
The Bill must be opposed because should it pass and become law, Doctors and health professionals will have to provide advice promoting public confidence even if this is not in the individual patient’s best interests.
The Bill legislates the ongoing censorship of health professionals by AHPRA, destroying the doctor patient relationship in Australia. Doctors may be unable to comply with their Code of Conduct in instances where their professional opinion differs from what the regulator deems to be supportive of confidence in safety
The proposed change means that AHPRA would have the legal authority, and indeed obligation, to take action against health professionals who say or do anything which is not in line with ‘public confidence’ or whatever the government of the day says is the correct approach to medical treatment of any condition about which the government decides to make a pronouncement.
This is an inappropriate intrusion by the government in the doctor/patient relationship because the doctor patient relationship is governed by legal codes of conduct and supported by High Court of Australia case law. The public is entitled to ask. ‘Why doesn’t the government let my doctor explain risks and benefits to me? What are they hiding? The result will be a loss of confidence in health professionals and the health system: once it has become law. We the public will know that doctors are not allowed to be honest with us.
If the Bill is passed by the Queensland parliament, the changes to the National Law will apply automatically in other jurisdictions except New South Wales and South Australia, which must make regulations to adopt the changes, and Western Australia, which enacts its own separate legislation. These states will likely follow suit unaware that it will be a legislative gag on doctors across the entire country.
The attached Media Release, Briefing Paper and Key Messages documents explain further. Please oppose this Bill on 11 October 2022 and thank you for your urgent consideration of this matter of significance for you, your constituents, and all Australians.