23 Sep 2014
A report recommending ways to improve consumers’ interaction with the National Scheme has been published today, along with a list of actions that AHPRA is taking to address the issues raised.
National Boards and AHPRA work together to protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring that only health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered.
In March this year, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) commissioned the Health Issues Centre Victoria (HIC) to investigate and make suggestions to improve the consumer experience of the National Scheme that regulates health practitioners.
AHPRA today published the HIC report - Setting things right: Improving the consumer experience of AHPRA including the joint notification process between AHPRA and OHSC (1.46 MB,PDF), Word version (239 KB,DOCX)1, along with AHPRA’s action plan (186 KB,PDF), Word version (568 KB,DOCX) that outlines what work AHPRA has done to date, and what will be done next, to address the report’s recommendations.
AHPRA CEO Mr Martin Fletcher committed to reporting publicly on AHPRA’s actions to improve the experience of people who make a notification (complaint about a health practitioner).
‘We are committed to transparency. Publishing the HIC report, along with our actions for setting things right, is an important step towards improving consumers’ interactions with the National Scheme,’ he said.
‘We think there is now a robust model for managing notifications in the National Scheme, but we know there is more we can do to improve,’ Mr Fletcher said.
The HIC drew on historical and current data to come up with clear picture of the current experience of consumers who have made a complaint about a practitioner. The research focused on the experience of Victorian notifiers, but AHPRA’s action plan applies the improvements nationally.
‘We asked the HIC to tell us what we can do better and are taking clear steps to change and improve what we do. Today we published what we have done so far, and what will be focusing on next, to improve our customer service and consumers’ experiences when dealing with us,’ he said.
‘We are committed to improving how people interact with us in the National Scheme, by being clearer about what we do, what the law allows and how the scheme works. There is more work to follow, but this is an important step,’ Mr Fletcher said.
HIC CEO Ms Mary Draper led the research and said that the report provided a clear list of actions that will help consumers and improve their experience when making notifications (complaints) about health practitioners.
‘This research showed AHPRA what they can change immediately to improve the consumer experience, which is a very positive outcome. There are also recommendations for longer term changes which would require significant work to be implemented in the future.
‘It is pleasing to see how open AHPRA has been to this feedback and the steps that are being taken. This is important because the National Scheme relies on members of the public who have concerns about a health practitioner to bring these to the attention of the regulator. The public must have understanding and confidence in the scheme for it to do its job of protecting the public,’ said Dr Draper.
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Download a PDF of this Media release - Setting things right - AHPRA actions to improve consumer experience - 23 September 2014 (190 KB,PDF)
1Office of the Health Services Commissioner (Victoria)