Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Can I be anonymous?
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Can I be anonymous?

Notifications can be made anonymously, meaning we don't record your name as the notifier.

We may assign a pseudonym (a false name) for a notifier who wants to be anonymous.

We ask that people who want to make anonymous or confidential notifications clearly explain why they want to do so when they first contact us.

Mandatory notifications cannot be made anonymously.

Why do you need my details?

We always do our best to respect the wishes of people who are telling us their concerns about a health practitioner.

However, it may be difficult (and sometimes impossible) for us to assess or manage the concerns if we don't have your name and contact details.

This is because:

  • it can be difficult for us to clarify and/or seek further information if we do not have your name or contact details
  • we may not be able to gather necessary information from other entities about your concerns, and
  • we need to ensure those involved in the notification are given a fair opportunity to respond to concerns and it may be difficult to explain the concerns without disclosing certain information.

Making an anonymous notification also means we also can't provide you with updates.

What information will you share with the practitioner?

By law we need to tell a registered health practitioner when a notification is made about them.

As they have the right to respond, this means we must give the practitioner enough information about the concerns for them to so.

There are two sets of personal information that are relevant: the details of the patient and the details of the notifier. (Sometimes, the notifier and the patient are the same person.)

We cannot avoid sharing the patient's name with the practitioner.

We'll only tell the practitioner the notifier's name if it's necessary for them to respond and usually we'll let you know before we release any personal information to the practitioner. 

Can my notification be confidential?

Notifications can be made on a confidential basis.

This means that we don't share personal information about the notifier with other entities - including the health practitioner in question.

While we do our best to ensure the notifier's name isn't released to the practitioner, it's sometimes possible to assume or guess the notifier's identity based on the nature of the notification.

In some circumstances we may be compelled to share information about a confidential notification with others - for example, where the matter is the subject of legal proceedings or the practitioner makes a request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act.

How do I make a confidential or anonymous notification?

If you want to make anonymous or confidential notification, please call us on 1300 419 495.

When you call, we'll be to talk through your and our understanding of the concerns being raised and discuss any limitations we may face in progressing the matter.

Page reviewed 14/12/2023