Spike in mandatory reporting of doctors
As stakeholders get ready for mooted changes to mandatory reporting procedures, AHPRA has announced a dramatic increase in the number of doctors reported in 2016/2017.
In its newly released annual report, the regulatory authority records a 32.1% increase in the number of mandatory notifications of health practitioners, totalling 1,142 notifications, compared with 980 the previous year.
Just under 300 doctors were on the wrong end of a mandatory notification, up from 272 the previous year.
On investigation, around half of those cases required no further action. Forty-three doctors received a caution or reprimand, 15 accepted a specific undertaking, and 32 had conditions imposed on their practice.
Six doctors agreed to surrender their registration, five had their registration suspended and two had their registration cancelled.
The majority of doctors were reported for poor standard of clinical care, with a further 57 reported for impairment, 11 for drug or alcohol misuse and 29 for sexual misconduct.
In its report, AHPRA said that this year it had received the highest number of general notifications overall in any financial year since the national scheme was set up.
Nearly 6,000 complaints were logged against doctors, up considerably from 5,371 the previous year. Around three-quarters of these were about significant departures from standards of clinical care.
Around 5% of all doctors were subject to a notification in 2016/2017.
Immediate action was taken in 259 cases. No further action was taken in two thirds of cases, while 2% of cases ended in a surrendering or cancellation of registration.
The top three reasons for notification of a health practitioner were clinical care (43%), pharmacy or medication (12%) and health impairment (8%).
Nearly 30% of health, performance and conduct matters resulted in regulatory action, and over 90% of matters decided by tribunal resulted in regulatory action.
AHPRA monitored over 3,000 practitioners for health, performance and/or conduct during the year.
You can access the full AHPRA report here.