27 Jul 2018
The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) has decided to publish links to serious disciplinary decisions by courts and tribunals on the public register of practitioners only when there has been an adverse finding against the doctor.
The Board will not publish links from an individual doctor’s entry on the register to public court and tribunal decisions when no adverse finding against the doctor has been made.
The Board has removed links to tribunal decisions in which there was no adverse finding about the doctor that had been published on the register since March 2018.
Earlier this year, the Board decided to introduce links to public tribunal decisions, in the interests of transparency and on the recommendation of the Chaperone Review. It has changed its position after listening to advice from many doctors and other stakeholders that this was not fair when no adverse finding had been made about the doctor.
Chair of the Medical Board of Australia, Dr Joanna Flynn AM, said the decision struck a good balance between transparency and fairness.
‘This maintains community access to important public information that will help patients make informed decisions and is fair to doctors,’ Dr Flynn said.
The only cases that the Board refers to tribunals involve the most serious allegations about registered medical practitioners. These matters pose significant risk to patients. In 2017/18, there were about 100 tribunal hearings about doctors in Australia. This is a very small proportion of the roughly 6,000 complaints (notifications) made to regulators about Australia’s 111,000 doctors each year. Of these, around 75% lead to no further regulatory action and the rest involve cautions or restrictions on registration aimed at protecting the public and managing risk to patients.
More information about the register of practitioners is published here.
The Board works in partnership with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to protect the public by implementing the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme). Together, we regulate the profession by ensuring that only those medical practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified can practise in Australia.
Protecting the public by ensuring access to a safe, competent and qualified healthcare workforce is always our priority. Every decision we make is guided by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law), as in force in each state and territory, and by the regulatory principles.
Visit the Board’s website at www.medicalboard.gov.au
For more information about the National Scheme and AHPRA, visit www.ahpra.gov.au/About-AHPRA
For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers)