Mandatory reporting position paper

Jun 29, 2015

Mandatory reporting seeks to protect patients from health practitioners who may not be fit to practise. It does so by requiring a health practitioner, who has a concern that another practitioner is acting in a way that is putting the public at risk, to report that practitioner to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

All practitioners have an obligation to report if they form a reasonable belief that another health practitioner has engaged in “notifiable conduct” (unless an exemption applies).

Avant’s position

Download a copy of the Mandatory reporting position paper

Avant accepts that mandatory reporting has a role to play in appropriate situations, to ensure that the public is protected from the risk of significant harm.

Avant believes that regulators should ensure that mandatory notifications are properly assessed and filtered early to ensure that:

  • action is only taken where the public is at risk of harm.
  • matters where notifications appear to have been made vexatiously (for example, where competitive interests lie at the heart of the complaint) are filtered out to reduce the significant impact complaints of this nature can have.

Avant supports further research to explore concerns about the inappropriate use of mandatory reporting.

Avant calls for:

  • adoption nationally of the Western Australia exemption from mandatory reporting obligations for the treating health practitioner
  • amendments to the National Law to clarify mandatory reporting requirements, including whether past action needs to be reported and to incorporate the high threshold required.

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