Work needed to ensure AHPRA system is impartial and follows due process

10 Jun 2021

In its submission to the Senate Committee, the AMA provided feedback on the administration of registration and notifications by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and related entities under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.  

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said doctors remained “gravely concerned” about mandatory reporting requirements. 

“Practitioners are also patients and should have equal rights to access confidential, high-quality medical treatment – just as their patients do. Australia’s medical practitioners desperately need legislation that does not actively discourage them from seeking medical treatment when they need it,” he said.  

The AMA has said it is working hard to ensure the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) is transparent, efficient and fair. In its submission to the Senate the AMA said it would continue to work with all governments, with AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) to improve the scheme so it supports good practice without having an impact on doctors who practice according to acceptable professional standards, and does not impact on the mental health of any doctor. 

The AMA stated in the submission that it understood the need to ensure all regulatory schemes and legislation were reviewed and tested regularly, however continued to be disappointed at the lack of rigour and evidence applied to the assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the National Scheme. And said there was a lack of evidence, or appropriate business cases, to support major changes to the National Law, being developed under the auspices of the Health Council.  

The AMA said the changes are liable to have major impacts on the lives and work of medical practitioners, without necessarily improving standards of care for patients.