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Austria

Prophylaxeassistent/in (Austria)


  • Proportionality information

    1. Have you examined whether the requirements under your national legal system are
    directly or indirectly discriminatory on the basis of nationality or residence?
       

    The requirements to pursue the profession constitute neither direct nor indirect discrimination on the basis of nationality or residence. They are exclusively based on the professional qualification and the physical and mental health as well as trustworthiness. Only persons who fulfill the requirements to pursue the profession use the professional title “Prophylaxeassistent”.


    2. Which of the following overriding reasons relating to the general interest justifies the measure(s)?
         
    • Public health
    •    
    • Protection of consumers and recipients of services

    3. What specific risks or benefits have you identified that your measure(s) is designed to, respectively, minimise or maximise?

       Please try to be specific in describing the nature of the risks/benefits you have identified
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. Wherever possible please include evidence.

       

    Public Health: The profession of prophylaxis assistance as specialisation of dental assistants includes the performance of prophylactic measures to prevent diseases of the teeth, mouth, jaw and associated tissues on the orders and under the supervision of a dental practitioner or dentist. In order to provide safe, high-quality and efficient healthcare to patients it is indispensable to obtain the competences to provide these prophylactic measures of patients. This overriding reason of general interest ensures the safety of the patient and sufficient and permanent high-quality treatment and is essential for public health. Legislation protects on the one hand the patient and on the other hand the professional by means of reservations related to the exercise of professional activities, professional title and, on principle, educational requirements. Healthcare professionals have to exercise their professions with due diligence and without discrimination. They have to ensure the wellbeing and health of the humans entrusted to them in compliance with applicable regulations and in line with technical and scientific knowledge and experience. These measures do not contain any risks, but only the mentioned benefits.

    Consumer protection: Based on the requirement of a formal qualification in prophylaxis assistance the consumer respectively patient can rely on the fact that the professional has acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and competences for exercising and fulfilling the professional tasks. These measures do not contain any risks, but only the mentioned benefits.


    4. How specifically do your measures operate to minimise the risk(s) or maximise the benefit(s) identified in question 3?

       When addressing this question please try to explain how the measures prevent the risks or guarantee the benefits.
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. Wherever possible please include evidence.

       

    The benefits of regulation measures are maximized in the following areas: The theoretical and practical education and training ensures professional expertise to achieve the enlisted benefits and avoid risks. Performing professional prophylactic measures on patients may only be obtained and ensured by these measures. The regulation creates trust of the patients in the healthcare and ensures high quality of healthcare and prevent excessive guarantee and damage claims.


    5. In so far as you are able, please provide information that you have gathered regarding the concrete effects of the measure(s).

       For example, through impact assessments or information gathered during implementation or review of a measure. Member States who have recently undergone reforms may in particular be able to contribute helpfully to this field. Where you are able to provide cost-benefit analyses this would be particularly valuable.
       Information on whether the measures indeed successfully prevented risks from being realised (e.g. the number of sanctions imposed, a drop in transgressions since the measure was introduced or consequences from previous modifications of the regulation) would equally be helpful.
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. You may also wish to include evidence on consumer satisfaction or other measurements of the impact.

       

    Only due to the high standards of the regulated sector it is possible to prevent damages of the health of the patient and, in case of damage or harm arising from the treatment, to obtain prosecution or remedies.


    6. Is the general interest objective you indicated in question 2 pursued in a consistent and systematic manner?.

       In approaching your response to this question please consider examples where you have addressed similar risks for comparable professions, not necessarily within the same sector. Is the approach you have adopted in this particular profession comparable or distinct from such similar cases and why?

       

    In many sectors with potential high-risk hazards, especially in the healthcare sector, the protection of the public interest is guaranteed by standardized qualifications. The regulations in the fields of healthcare professions ensure that patients are only treated and counselled in ill health by highly competent and educated professionals.


    7. Please explain in how far the degree of complexity or the nature of the activities
    which are reserved justify that these activities can be exclusively performed by professionals possessing a specific professional qualification?

       For example: when the tasks are essentially of a straightforward nature (such as preparing and printing pay slips etc.), or involve essentially the execution of instructions, specific professional aptitudes should not be required.

       

    The tasks of prophylaxis assistants include the performance of prophylactic measures to prevent diseases of the teeth, mouth, jaw and associated tissues on the orders and under the supervision of a dental practitioner or dentist. Due to the complexity of these tasks of reserved professional activities it is indispensable to prove comprehensive knowledge, skills and competences.


    8. Where you have indicated several measures in place in the screening tab,
    have you reviewed the cumulative effect of all these measures on professional activities?

       If not, why not?
       If yes, please outline for us how you approached assessing this issue as well as the results and conclusions or any learning you drew from this. Where possible please include evidence.

       

    As the measures are only based on the professional qualification there are no cumulative effects.


    9. Have you considered the use of alternative mechanisms to achieve your objective(s)?

       Please briefly explain. Where you have selected more than one option, please be sure to address each of these in your response.

       

    No, because ensuring patient safety can best be obtained by a regulated high-standard professional qualification.


    10. Conclusion

       Following your internal examination of this regulated profession, which of the following have you concluded?

    •    Maintain current system

       Explain where relevant:

       

    The advantages and strengths of a qualification-related access to the regulated professions in the healthcare sector are evident, as they guarantee patient-safety. Therefore it is important to maintain and improve the clinical skills and competences.


    11. Any other comments?
       -
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