AMA disappointed no change to mandatory reporting laws

7 Mar 2019

The AMA is disappointed that Queensland Parliament did not heed calls to amend draft mandatory reporting legislation before they were passed last week. Federal AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, and AMA Queensland President, Dr Dilip Dhupelia, wrote to all members of the Queensland Parliament ahead of the vote last week, urging them to amend the legislation so that doctors and medical students have the confidence and support to seek help when they are unwell.

While the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 slightly improved mandatory reporting laws, the AMA believes that it is still not good enough and will continue to act as a barrier to doctors seeking help.

Under Council of Australian Governments arrangements, once the legislation passed it became law in all States and Territories except Western Australia. In Western Australia, doctors who are treating other doctors or medical students for health conditions are exempt from mandatory reporting provisions under national registration legislation.

“Any barriers to treatment for medical practitioners, real or perceived, must be removed and not hinder the same timely access to care that we as doctors fight for on behalf of our patients,” Dr Bartone said.

“[The legislation] does not go far enough to ensure that doctors and medical students can seek the treatment that they need, when they need it, without worrying that they will be reported to authorities and possibly lose their right to continue studying or to practise,” Dr Dhupelia said.

The AMA will continue to advocate for WA model. You can read the AMA’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry here. More information on Dr Bartone and Dr Dhupelias’ letter is available here.