Registration

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner is a primary health care professional providing high-quality, culturally-safe, clinical care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. They are independent practitioners who work alongside and collaboratively with other clinicians including doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health and oral health practitioners in a range of settings.

As of  31 March 2021 there were 806 registered (practicing) Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners in Australia based in the NT (205), NSW (172), WA (159), Qld (150), SA (84), Vic (33), Tas (2) and ACT (1). Total figure includes 22 Health Practitioners on the pandemic response sub-register. (Data from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Annual report supplementary tables.)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners are registered by the

. AHPRA approves the programs of study for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners workforce. Accreditation standards are used to assess whether a program of study, and the education provider that provides the program of study, provides graduates of the program with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practice the profession. From 1 July 2012, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners joined the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, a single national system for the regulation of health professionals.

Health Practitioners may use the titles:

  • Aboriginal Health Practitioner
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner, or
  • Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner.

To be eligible to apply for registration as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner, an applicant must provide evidence that they:

  • are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • be accepted as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person in the community in which they live or did live.

The National Association for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners (NAATSIHWP) is the peak body for professionalising, promoting and expanding the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker and Health Practitioner workforce in Australia.

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