IMG criminal checks must avoid ‘red tape’

AHPRA’s annual report recently revealed that of 52,445 domestic criminal record checks carried out in 2010–11, 2992 medical professionals had a criminal record.

Minutes from a recent Medical Board of Australia (MBA) board meeting also highlighted the concern.

During the meeting, MBA chair Dr Joanna Flynn cited the lack of formal international criminal checks as a weakness in the system.

Margie Mahon, director of workforce programs at Rural Health Workforce Australia, supported the move, in principle.

“We don’t want any more red tape or barriers for IMGs that would put [Australia] at a disadvantage to other countries. We need to make sure that we don’t make more steps than are required,” she said. 

“[IMGs are] an important part of our rural workforce, and Australia doesn’t need to be at a competitive disadvantage to other countries.”

Dr Viney Joshi, president