Cautious optimism on mandatory reporting changes
The AMA has cautiously welcomed the newly announced strategy for mandatory reporting laws that were decided upon at the recent COAG Health Council meeting in Sydney. AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that the outcome demonstrates that Ministers have acknowledged the AMA’s concerns.
“It is clear that all the Health Ministers are committed to removing barriers from doctors seeking help from other doctors about their mental health or stress-related conditions,” Dr Gannon said.
Dr Gannon addressed the Health Ministers during their mandatory reporting deliberations, and said that with ongoing goodwill, discussion, and consultation, they could collaboratively arrive at much better laws than currently exist.
“There are concerns about some of the wording in the communique, including in regard to the ‘future misconduct’ of health professionals. It is unreasonable and unworkable to expect treating doctors to predict the future behaviour of any patients, including their colleagues. But I am sure we can work through this with the Ministers in the drafting of the legislation,” he said.