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Health service providers

Unregistered health practitioner notifications

In Queensland, unregistered health practitioners are governed by a minimum standard of health service provision under the National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland). The Health Ombudsman has the ability to take action against unregistered health practitioners in Queensland in a variety of ways.

Health Ombudsman’s powers

In Queensland, the Health Ombudsman has the ability to take action against unregistered health practitioners when serious issues are identified in their provision of health services. In particular, the Health Ombudsman can take immediate action and prohibit a practitioner from providing a particular health service, or restrict service delivery.

While there are no mandatory requirements for unregistered health practitioners, employers or educators to report on the health, conduct or performance of unregistered practitioners, anyone who forms a reasonable belief that an unregistered practitioner is putting the health and safety of the public at risk in any way, should notify the OHO.

Reasons for notifying us can include if an unregistered practitioner is:

  • practising unsafely, incompetently or while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
  • financially exploiting someone
  • engaging in a sexual or improper personal relationship
  • discouraging someone from seeking clinically accepted care or treatment
  • making false or misleading claims about the health benefits of a particular health service
  • making false or misleading claims about qualifications, training, competence or professional affiliations held.


National Code of Conduct for healthcare workers

The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) (the Queensland code) was introduced on 1 October 2015 and applies to all healthcare workers in Queensland, including unregistered health practitioners and registered health practitioners providing health services outside of their registration. The Queensland code provides employers and educators with an enforceable code of conduct for staff and students, and a means by which to measure the performance of healthcare workers.

The Queensland code will ultimately improve service delivery through greater consistency and accountability, and provide better protection for healthcare consumers.

The Queensland code has not changed the Health Ombudsman’s powers in Queensland, which are governed by the overriding Health Ombudsman Act 2013. The Queensland code provides a benchmark against which the Health Ombudsman can make decisions about issues in the healthcare provided by unregistered practitioners, and health services provided by registered practitioners outside of their registration, in Queensland.

For more information, or to download a copy of the Queensland code, visit the Queensland Health website.


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