Possible easing of conditions for GPs with blood-borne viruses

The national boards have decided to refer practitioners to rules set down by the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) to ensure patient safety, rather than trying to develop and maintain their own guidance, although they will take an active role in monitoring compliance.

“We are not infectious diseases experts and so we rely on the considerable expertise of the CDNA which has produced the current guidelines based on international best practice and the latest available evidence,” said Dr Joanna Flynn, chair of the Medical Board of Australia.

The draft guidelines say a health practitioner infected with a blood-borne virus can continue to practise if they comply with the CDNA guidelines, though they may need to modify their practice. 

Currently, infected practitioners cannot perform exposure-prone procedures where there may be a risk of their blood coming into contact with a patient’s open tissues, but the national