The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) introduced the voluntary register of doctors and medical providers in July 2017. Major coal companies agreed, where possible, to use registered medical providers to undertake health assessments.
Changes to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017, which take effect from 1 March 2019, will make the use of approved providers mandatory. As is currently the case for registration with DNRME, approved providers will need to:
- meet defined standards
- abide by prescribed guidelines
- meet specific performance requirements
- be subject to audit.
From 1 March 2019, only approved providers will be able to carry out Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme functions including:
- carrying out assessments
- supervising and reporting on assessments
- providing spirometry
- taking chest X-rays
- examining chest X-rays
- providing spirometry training.
Once the new rules come into effect, providers already registered with DNRME will be taken to be approved providers; however, they will need to formally apply and be approved within the following 2-year transition period.