Under the National Law, AHPRA works with health complaints organisations in each state and territory, to decide which organisation should take responsibility for and manage the concern raised about a registered health practitioner. These bodies can help you with complaints that AHPRA and National Boards cannot.
If you are in NSW or QLD and want to report a statutory offence, you should contact AHPRA. Statutory offences are managed nationally by AHPRA and include someone claiming to be a registered health practitioner and/or unlawful advertising.
For all other concerns there are different arrangements for people in Qld and NSW. If you live in these states and have a concern about a student or a registered health practitioner’s health, conduct or performance you should:
In NSW, contact:
In Qld, you can contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman. The Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) can be contacted via its website or by phoning 133 OHO (133 646).
Health complaints organisations, sometimes called health complaints entities (HCEs), investigate concerns about health systems or health service providers. They can also investigate certain concerns about health practitioners, such as fees and charges and may also help with financial compensation and dispute resolution processes between health service users and health service providers. This can include mediation and/or conciliation.
The role and powers of the Human Rights Commission in the ACT are slightly different. Find more information on the Human Rights Commission in the ACT.
Our main role is to protect the public by ensuring that only health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified, and who practise in a competent and ethical manner, are registered.
This means that, when managing a notification, we can only investigate the concern if there may be a risk to the public.
Other organisations have a different purpose and are set up to resolve a dispute or complaint between a health service user (such as a patient) and a health service provider (such as a hospital, clinic or a health practitioner).
Here are some examples about how other organisations deal with complaints and how we deal with different types of concerns, or how they may deal with the same complaint or concern differently.
Depending on the individual concern it might need to be dealt with by us, or another health complaints organisation. It can be the case that it will need to be dealt with by both.
The National Law requires AHPRA to tell a health complaints organisation about any concern about a health practitioner that could also have been made to them.
Concerns about registered health practitioners received by a health complaints organisation are then shared with AHPRA.
If a health complaints organisation and AHPRA agree, the complaint will be managed by the health complaints organization. Discussions with AHPRA may still occur during and after their investigation, if needed.
Health complaints organisations and AHPRA work jointly to share information and assess concerns that have been made to both agencies. They decide which organisation should take responsibility for managing a concern and how it should be managed. If the health complaints organisation and the National Board cannot agree on what action to take, the most serious action proposed must be taken.
Find out more about how to make a complaint to you health complaints organisations.