On 24 July 2014, AHPRA released its draft guidelines for the regulatory management of registered health practitioners and students infected with blood-borne viruses, which would allow practitioners with blood borne viruses to continue to practice. 

Under the draft guidelines, registered health practitioners with blood borne infectious diseases must comply with the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (“CDNA”) guidelines (2012).  AHPRA recognises that the CDNA guidelines were developed on international best practice and with expertise in the field.  The adoption of the CDNA guidelines is said to ensure a balance between patient safety and autonomy for practitioners.

While the draft guidelines are explicit in allowing health practitioners to practice when infected, they may be required to modify their practice.  However, the draft guidelines are more regulatory in nature, leaving the CDNA guidelines to regulate the health and medical aspects. 

Public consultation on the draft guidelines is open until 26 September 2014. 

To view the draft guidelines, click here.