AHPRA’s team of clinical advisors reviews every notification made to the Board. They are registered medical practitioners who provide clinical advice on the assessment and management of notifications about medical practitioners.
We asked them for some reflections after their first year in the job … and their first reaction was to reassure doctors that being subject of a notification may be really stressful, but it’s not the end of the world.
They thought some context, in the form of data about notifications, would be helpful.
You’re not alone if someone makes a complaint about you. In 2016/17:
In the vast majority of cases, the Board takes no further regulatory action on complaints. This can be because the doctor has already made practice or other changes that manage risk to patients or the complaint does not raise issues of risk and therefore regulatory action is not needed. In 2016/17 the Board:
In less than one per cent (0.6 per cent) of cases, a doctor’s registration was suspended or cancelled by a court or tribunal.
↑ Back to top
We are pleased to report that 93 per cent of medical practitioners submitted their renewal of registration on time, and of these, 98.6 per cent renewed online.
Medical practitioners with general, specialist and non-practising registration were due to renew their registration by 30 September 2018. If you meant to renew and still haven’t, you can renew in October, but a late fee applies.
Under the National Law, practitioners who do not renew their registration within one month of their registration expiry date must be removed from the national register of practitioners. Their registration will lapse and they will not be able to practise medicine in Australia until a new application for registration is approved. This could take time.
Early in 2019, AHPRA will pilot an audit of practitioner compliance with advertising guidelines. The pilot – involving the dental and chiropractic professions – will require practitioners to make a declaration about their advertising when they renew their registration. Practitioners will be randomly selected for audit to check if their advertising complies with national requirements.
The Medical Board will review the pilot process to inform future audit and compliance work and advance a risk-based approach to enforcing the National Law’s advertising requirements. We will keep you informed.
You can read more about your advertising obligations on the AHPRA website advertising resources page.
Paramedicine will become a nationally regulated profession on 1 December 2018, Ministers have announced. From this date, the title ‘paramedic’ will become protected by law, so only people who are registered with the Paramedicine Board of Australia will be able to call themselves a paramedic.
More information is available on the Paramedicine Board website.
There are important lessons for registered medical practitioners from tribunal decisions. The Medical Board of Australia refers the most serious concerns about medical practitioners to tribunals in each state and territory. These cases were published recently:
AHPRA, on behalf of the 15 National Boards, publishes a record of panel, court and tribunal decisions about registered health practitioners.
When investigating a notification, the Board may refer a medical practitioner to a health panel hearing, or a performance and professional standards panel hearing. Under the National Law1, panel hearings are not open to the public. AHPRA publishes a record of panel hearing decisions made since July 2010. Practitioners’ names are not published, consistent with the National Law.
Summaries of tribunal and court cases are published on the Court and tribunal decisions page of the AHPRA website. The Board and AHPRA sometimes choose to not publish summaries, for example about cases involving practitioners with impairment.
In New South Wales and Queensland, different arrangements are in place. More information is available on AHPRA’s website on the Make a complaint page.
1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.
Please note: Practitioners are responsible for keeping up to date with the Board’s expectations about their professional obligations. The Board publishes standards, codes and guidelines as well as alerts in its newsletter. If you unsubscribe from this newsletter you are still required to keep up to date with information published on the Board’s website.
Comment on the Board newsletter is welcome and should be sent to email@example.com.
For registration enquiries or contact detail changes, call the AHPRA customer service team on 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).