Many people are affected by specific acts of doctors, and sometimes they fail to report the issue for several reasons. But the truth is that complaining about a doctor’s misbehaviour to AHPRA is the best method to get rid of that problem effectively. You can complain about a doctor or a healthcare facility for several reasons.
Every doctor in Australia fears AHPRA complaints. Australia’s medical professionals’ regulators handle their complaints effectively and focus on making necessary improvements. If anyone is concerned about the doctor’s behaviour, it is easy and straightforward to contact AHPRA. You can address AHPRA’s complaints, and they will take necessary actions (including wiping the doctors off the medical register) if they find the wrong deeds.
All about AHPRA complaints in Australia
AHPRA – Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is the one who plays a major in protecting the public and ensuring continued high-quality health care for the community. AHPRA manages and deals with all kinds of complaints registered against healthcare professionals, like allegations of abuse of illicit substances or sexual harassment.
The type of action that AHPRA takes to resolve a particular case depends entirely on the seriousness of the problems created by the doctor or the health professional. The complaints received by AHPRA are called notifications, and they will manage to solve these notifications via effective measures. Usually, when AHPRA receives a notification, they will coordinate with Australia’s National Practitioner Boards to investigate the case and find necessary details. Once the doctor is found responsible for gross negligence, National Board will cancel their doctor’s license, or they will be suspended (or take other actions).
How do you complain about a doctor or send a notification to AHPRA in Australia?
Making a complaint about a doctor in Australia is easy and can be done quickly. AHPRA offers quick responses after receiving the notifications and provides enough facilities for everyone to make a complaint. You can directly call them to register a complaint about a doctor or healthcare facility if you are mistreated or if you find troubles with their method of treatment. One can also write a complaint through the AHPRA website by providing all the necessary information based on their choice. The individual can also provide information regarding the type of solution they need.
Complaint procedures in AHPRA
Anyone can complain about a registered health practitioner’s health, performance, or conduct if they find any troubles. They can also seek help from a health law lawyer based on the situation and seriousness of their problem. The AHPRA and National Board are responsible for receiving the notification and planning the investigation. National Boards are divided into different places, and many AHPRA offices exist for other regions.
- The notification process is carried out in a series of steps (mostly not linear) based on the situation and seriousness of the complaint. The typical stages are acceptance, assessment, investigation, health assessment, performance assessment, panel and tribunal.
- Even though there are many stages in the notification process, many are closed after evaluation.
- In the acceptance stage, AHPRA will review the notification to confirm all the details and grounds of the matter and to check if it is related to a registered health practitioner. If AHPRA confirms that the doctor’s action might pose a severe risk, they will take immediate public action.
- In the assessment stage, the AHPRA will collect more information and send a copy of the notification to the medical practitioner (or doctor). In most cases, AHPRA presents the information to the Board for consideration, and they will act accordingly. Based on the situation, the practitioner will be cautioned or suspended, or the Board will take further actions.
- AHPRA primarily focuses on completing each investigation in six months, but it may take longer based on the complexity. They will take a health and performance assessment if the doctor’s health is suspected to be impaired and check their skills.
If AHPRA finds that the doctor has committed professional misconduct, it is referred to a tribunal hearing, which they will send to a magistrate. Based on the levels of the problems they have caused, their medical license will be rejected or suspended. Some of the notifiable conducts are
- Medical practises while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
- Sexual misconduct during the practice of the professions.
- Causing harm and risks for the public.
Vexatious complaints are always a problem for doctors, and many individuals are facing such issues. Seeking advice from a health law lawyer is the best method for doctors to avoid such situations.
In this article, you can find vital information that will clear all your doubts regarding whether AHPRA can address its complaints. Many health professionals are also facing fake complaints (faced by faceless bureaucrats), and to solve that problem, you can get the support of a health law lawyer.