AHPRA took immediate action 178 times against medical and dental practitioners in 2018/19 and mandatory notifications increased by almost 40% to 395. Immediate action such as suspension of registration is only conducted where a serious and imminent threat of danger is perceived by AHPRA to the public such as drug/alcohol abuse or inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The AHPRA annual report shows that with growth in industry size also comes increases in notifications. Overall, notifications made about all healthcare practitioners to AHPRA increased 14.3%. Of the notifications AHPRA closed, just under one in five resulted in regulatory action against a practitioner.
|AHPRA Registered practitioners||2017/18||2018/19||Change|
Despite the increases in the industry size and the number of notifications, the vast majority (73.8%) of notifications concerning medical practitioners end up with a decision to take ‘no further action’. Similarly for dental practitioners, ‘no further action’ was taken in 62.6% of closed notifications.
|5.8%||10.2%||had conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted|
|3.6%||8.5%||received a caution or reprimand|
|0.5%||0.1%||registration suspended or cancelled|
|16.1%||18.4%||referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity|
|73.8%||62.6%||no further action taken|
AHPRA has recognised that despite this, most medical practitioners find it very stressful to be the subject of a notification. Notifiers also find the process difficult and can be dissatisfied with the results.
Patients and their relatives are the top notifiers to AHPRA. However, more than one in ten notifications is made by a fellow healthcare practitioner.
Self-reporting should be considered where you are aware of an issue that is likely to result in a notification (eg your own impairment or conduct). You can call MIPS on 1800 061 113 for advice if you want to discuss either reporting a fellow practitioner or reporting yourself. MIPS’ advisers are exempt from mandatory report.