AMA Submission on proposed amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

13 Dec 2019

The AMA would first like to record its protest about the lack of adequate consultation on such an important issue. The AMA has two main issues with this consultation: 

  • Inadequate time for consultation; and
  • Inadequate breadth of consultation. 

Proposal 1: Amend the guiding principles of the National Law to prioritise public protection and public confidence in the National Scheme 

It is difficult for the AMA to comment on Proposal 1 given that the Consultation Paper does not set out the proposed wording and it is described in multiple ways.  

The AMA also has a number of concerns about how the guiding principle would apply in practice.  

Proposal 2 – Requirement to notify an employer during a notification or investigation process when necessary to protect the public 

The AMA is particularly concerned about the suggestion that employers be routinely informed of notifications.  According to the 2018/19 AHPRA Annual Report[1], in each of the last two financial years, notifications were made about 5.1% and 5.9% of medical practitioners. However, over 80% of the notifications involving medical practitioners closed with “No further action”. 

An alternative would be for APHRA to consider whether notification is warranted when it refers a matter for investigation, health assessment or performance assessment. 

[1] (Table 12)