AHPRA to introduce further drug screening procedures for practitioners with substance related impairment

AHPRA hair testingThe Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be introducing mandatory hair testing for all practitioners with a substance related impairment. Under the screening protocol, all health practitioners who have restrictions on their registration linked to previous substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to the urine drug screening as per the interim protocol introduced in July 2014.

AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher has said “It will make sure drug screening in the National Scheme is evidence-based, effective and up to date.”

AHPRA states that the “National Boards will continue to make decisions about individual practitioners with impairment case by case, based on testing standards set out in the protocol. This includes:
•    nationally consistent threshold limits, so all pathology providers conducting the tests use consistent testing baselines (e.g. will report all positive alcohol readings over 30pg/mg in hair)
•    agreed ‘critical events’ – in addition to positive test results – requiring action and follow up (e.g. unexplained delayed screening tests or results, failure to attend screening, diluted or unsuitable samples etc)
•    agreed triggers for National Boards to consider disciplinary action (e.g. positive test results, non-compliance with screening requirements etc)”

Click here for more details from AHPRA.

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