Funding provided to the National Alliance of Self Regulating Health Professions (NASRHP)

Melanie Voevodin made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health

The request was refused by Department of Health.

From: Melanie Voevodin

Delivered

Dear Department of Health,

A "new" regulatory body has appeared - the National Alliance of Self Regulated Health Professions (NASRHP). http://nasrhp.org.au/

On its website, NASRHP state (date posted says March 2017):

"Its [NASRHP] transition to a formal body has been funded by the Federal Government via the Department of Health and Ageing. NASRHP is now the national peak body for self regulating health professions and sets benchmark standards for regulation and accreditation of practitioners within the professions".

My request is for information from the Department of Health sufficient to answer:

1. How much funding has been allocated to NASRHP?

2. The terms of the funding?

3. Justification for the funds?
- Why Government has chosen to fund a "second body" rather than moving these professions to AHPRA, a current existing body?
- Why Government has chosen to fund NASRHP given the Government has already assessed these professions as "low risk" not for inclusion in AHPRA...ergo, do not require such high-level checks and balances to protect the public?

- Government funding of NASRHP implies there is "risk", which is potentially confusing the public and health professionals on the legitimacy of mainstream services such as dietetics, speech pathology, and audiology (as examples)?

- How funding has been justified when by its own admissions NASRHP states "nothing will change"...

From NASRHP website:

"Nothing changes directly for you as an health professional or in your day-to-day practice. Your organisation will continue to be your peak professional body and administrator of your credential, and you will continue to meet your requirements each year as you have in the past. If you are a Medicare/DVA provider, this will not change either. There is nothing you need to do or change right now".

Yours faithfully,

Melanie Voevodin
Dietitian, Health Economist
BSc(Hons) MNutrDiet MPubPol GCertHealthEco

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From: FOI
Department of Health

Dear Ms Voevodin

I refer to your Freedom of Information request below, and advise that under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act access is provided to documents.

Your request lists a number of questions but not seek any particular documents. Please advise the documents you are seeking.

Kind regards
FOI Officer

Ministerial, Parliamentary, Executive Support and Governance Branch
People, Capability and Communication Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

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From: Melanie Voevodin

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your prompt response.

We could do one of two things here.

The first is, you could list "the documents" that exist on NASRHP from Department of Health, and include all documents that relate to decisions and strategy for NASRHP. From the list I can then select which documents to request. Given I am not aware of the "document naming" strategy of the Department, it would seem unreasonable to expect my request to "guess" the name of documents that may or may not exist.

The second option is, from "the documents" that exist on the Departments agreement/affiliation/instruction/alliance/financial support of NASRHP, my questions could be answered and the documents supporting the answers (lets call the documents "evidence") could also be included in your response.

Whichever option preferred by the Department should achieve the same outcome (eventually), so there is no need to respond to negotiate which option the Department prefers to take of the two, but to simply choose one and respond.

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Voevodin

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From: Melanie Voevodin

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I request all documents relating to NASRHP from the Department of Health.

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Voevodin

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From: FOI
Department of Health

Dear Ms Voevodin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT

I am writing to notify you that the Department of Health (Department) has received your request (in your below email) for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

The Department will take all reasonable steps to notify you of a decision no later than 30 calendar days after the date your request was received. You will be contacted where a charge is applied for processing your request or if we need to consult a third party.

Unless you advise otherwise, duplicate documents and Commonwealth employee names and contact details below Senior Executive Service level and mobile telephone numbers of all staff will be excluded from the scope of your request under s22(1)(a)(ii) of the FOI Act.

You can contact the FOI Unit on (02) 6289 1666, or via email at [email address], should you have any enquiries.

Regards
FOI Officer

Ministerial, Parliamentary, Executive Support and Governance Branch
People, Capability and Communication Division
Australian Government Department of Health
T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [Health request email]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

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From: FOI
Department of Health


Attachment image001.png
1K Download

Attachment s24AB consultation letter 285 1617.pdf
1.8M Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Voevodin

 

Please see attached correspondence in relation to your FOI request to the
Department of Health.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Officer

[1]cid:image002.png@01D152AA.D704F7C0

Ministerial, Parliamentary, Executive Support and Governance Branch

People, Capability and Communication Division

Australian Government Department of Health

T: (02) 6289 1666 | E: [2][Health request email]

 

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the traditional owners of country
throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and
community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders
both past and present.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Unless the applicant has contacted the agency without Right to Know, then by force of s 24AB(7) of the FOI Act, the request will be taken to have been withdrawn by the applicant. So, I have marked the request as "refused" even this is not exactly true.

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From: Melanie Voevodin

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for facilitating my request. I'm writing some final thoughts here for those who have taken an interest in my request.

I became despondent following notification of "rejection", which, for the reasons given by the department, I do accept.

However, in the time I made the initial observation, and the response of "rejection", the NASRHP had removed all reference to being "Federally Funded". In fact the NASRHP website is rather severely sanitised. However, reference to "Federal Funding" remains on the webpages of NASRHP members, and in the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) Annual Report for 2016 (publicly available).

The issue is "Federal Funding" was named as NASRHP "seed income" by NASRHP, and its members (and is published in the DAA AR 2016). I considered my request for information a reasonable question and easy enough to answer. The issue became a little frightening when the mention of "Federal Funding" "disappeared" from the NASRHP website, and then the "rejection" of the request, well, it is unsettling to say the least.

As a health professional, operating under the auspices of such groups, "trust" in our governing bodies is the cornerstone of effective practice.

How does this stuff "just happen" and it relies on a minion to notice, and then trust their observation that something's not right.

I had had correspondence with NASRHP prior to making my request, and did not find the correspondence helpful.

I will not be taking the matter further.

Please let me know if there is anything I need to do to assist you in "keeping your website tidy" ;-)

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Voevodin

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Health only: