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Abstract from

National Models for Regulation of the Health Professions

Anne-Louise Carlton is Principal Policy Officer, Workforce Strategy and Regulation, Department of Human Services, Victoria

The way in which the health professions are regulated is undergoing considerable change. The principle of peer review that has underpinned the regulatory model since the 1800s is under challenge, with increasing recognition that the professions alone are not always best placed to define what is in the public interest. The article argues that the pressure to reform is driven primarily by workforce shortages and the need for the regulatory arrangements to provide the levers necessary to drive a more flexible, responsive and sustainable health work­force. It examines the relationship between profession-specific regu­­latory structures and the contested division of labour in health­care. It identifies an international trend towards breaking down the barriers between professions that have been maintained in part through profession-specific regulatory structures. It examines some alternative legislative models for giving effect to recent decisions by the Council of Australian Governments, to establish national cross-profession schemes for registration of the health professions and accreditation of their education and training.

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