Date: December 2022
The RACGP has provided a submission to the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman’s (NHPO) review of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s (Ahpra) vexatious notifications framework.
The submission states that the Ahpra notifications process requires significant improvement. It raises key themes based on member feedback including:
- the inadequacy of current processes for separating frivolous or trivial complaints, vexatious complaints, and those that raise genuine concerns about patient safety and the behaviour of health practitioners
- the impact of prematurely releasing details of complaints and restrictions on a practitioner’s reputation and mental health (also affecting the financial viability of their practice and future job prospects)
- the lack of any consequences for making a notification that is deliberately intended to cause harm to the practitioner
- the need for systemic changes to reduce the regulatory burden on health practitioners by managing complaints in a transparent and timely manner.