Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Media statement
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Media statement

11 Sep 2014

AHPRA and the National Boards welcome important research about mandatory reporting in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

National Scheme welcomes research into mandatory reporting

AHPRA and the National Boards welcome this important research about mandatory reporting in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

Mandatory reporting is one of the tough public protections introduced consistently by all health ministers, nationally in 2010, with the start of the national scheme.

'In regulating Australia's 619,000 registered health practitioners, we are building a store of national data that is the envy of regulators and researchers around the world. We welcome research partnerships that help to unlock the value of these data to improve patient safety and support workforce reform in Australia,' said AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher.

Across Australia and consistent with overseas trends, there is a continuing increase in the number of complaints about health practitioners and health services.

As this research suggests, it is early to draw definitive conclusions about the impact of mandatory reporting, particularly given the extent of other regulatory change introduced when mandatory reporting requirements took effect nationally.

‘It has taken time to build awareness of the new mandatory reporting requirements among health practitioners and employers. We will be monitoring trends in reporting and analysing the outcome of mandatory notifications over time to help improve patient safety,’ Mr Fletcher said.

Since 2013, National Boards have taken action when employers or practitioners have failed to make a mandatory notification. In one case, the National Board cautioned the practitioner. In another the Board asked AHPRA to write to the state health minister about a hospital (employer's) failure to make a mandatory report. In another, the Board referred a practitioner to a tribunal for failing to make a mandatory report about allegations of serious unprofessional conduct by another practitioner who was an employee. This matter has not yet been scheduled for hearing.

Each National Board has published guidelines on mandatory reporting, like these from the Medical Board of Australia.

AHPRA and the National Boards also publish data about mandatory notifications, including further information about the outcomes of mandatory notifications, in the annual report.

Media inquiries:

(03) 8708 9200.

Download a PDF of this Media statement - National Scheme welcomes research into mandatory reporting - 11 September 2014 (252 KB,PDF)

Page reviewed 11/09/2014