The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland)
The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) applies to health care workers delivering a health service in Queensland from 1 October 2015.
The terms for a National Code of Conduct for Health Care workers (the National Code) were endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) health ministers on 17 April 2015.
The National Code aims to strengthen regulation of unregistered health care workers across all States and Territories, and provide for the mutual recognition of prohibition orders. The National Code for Health Care Workers (Queensland) (the Queensland Code) (PDF, 200kB) will be recognised under the Health Ombudsman Regulation 2014.
Who is to comply?
The Queensland Code sets minimum standards of conduct for healthcare workers. It applies to the provision of health services by health care workers who are:
- not required to be registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (including de-registered health practitioners)
- registered health practitioners under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and who provide health services that are unrelated to their registration.
In Queensland, a health service is as defined in Section 7 of the Health Ombudsman Act 2013.
How it works
All health care workers, unless exempt under Section 17 of the Queensland Code, must display or make available at all premises or locations where they practice a copy of the Queensland Code along with information for clients on how complaints can be made.
Any concerns in relation to a health care worker’s practice in relation to the Queensland Code can be raised locally for resolution or reported as a complaint to the Office of the Health Ombudsman.
The Health Ombudsman already has powers to take action in relation to health care workers who are not registered. From 1 October 2015, the Health Ombudsman and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal may also have regard to the Queensland Code when considering what actions to take, including the issuing of interim prohibition orders or prohibition orders respectively.
It is intended that there will be the mutual recognition of prohibition orders between States and Territories, so that a corresponding order issued in one State or Territory will be recognised across borders. Queensland currently recognises prohibition orders issued in New South Wales and South Australia, and this will expand as other States and Territories implement the National Code. A nationally accessible web-based register of prohibition orders is being established to enable cross jurisdiction searching of prohibition orders issued against health practitioners.
What does the code include?
The Queensland Code includes the following main clauses (further detail is set out in sub-clauses):
Clause 1: Healthcare workers to provide services in a safe and ethical manner
Clause 2: Healthcare workers to obtain consent
Clause 3: Appropriate conduct in relation to treatment advice
Clause 4: Healthcare workers to report concerns about treatment or care provided by other health care workers
Clause 5: Healthcare workers to take appropriate action in response to adverse events
Clause 6: Healthcare workers to adopt standard precautions for infection control
Clause 7: Healthcare workers diagnosed with infectious medical conditions
Clause 8: Healthcare workers not to make claims to cure certain serious illnesses
Clause 9: Healthcare workers not to misinform their clients
Clause 10: Healthcare workers not to practice under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Clause 11: Healthcare workers with certain mental or physical impairment
Clause 12: Healthcare workers not to financially exploit clients
Clause 13: Healthcare workers not to engage in sexual misconduct
Clause 14: Healthcare workers to comply with relevant privacy laws
Clause 15: Healthcare workers to keep appropriate records
Clause 16: Healthcare workers to be covered by appropriate insurance
Clause 17: Healthcare workers to display code and other information
- National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) (PDF, 123kB)
- Display poster—National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) (PDF, 153kB)
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 100kB)
- Health care worker information brochure (PDF, 125kB)
- Consumer information brochure (PDF, 185kB)
- Queensland prohibition orders: Office of the Health Ombudsman
- New South Wales prohibition orders: Health Care Complaints Commission
- South Australia prohibition orders: Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner