Media release

Cautious welcome for mandatory reporting changes

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that the AMA cautiously welcomes the agreed strategy for mandatory reporting laws that emerged from today’s meeting of the COAG Health Council meeting in Sydney.

Dr Gannon, who addressed the Health Ministers during their mandatory reporting deliberations, said today’s outcome shows that the Ministers have acknowledged the AMA’s concerns and, with ongoing goodwill, discussion, and consultation, can arrive at much better laws than currently exist.

“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.

“There are concerns about some of the wording in today’s 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.

“The AMA looks forward to working with the COAG Health Council in getting the wording right in the legislation to ensure that doctors get access to the care and support they need.

“The positive signals in today’s communique give us some confidence that acceptable nationally consistent mandatory reporting laws are within reach,” Dr Gannon said.

13 April 2018


CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                           Maria Hawthorne               02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753


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