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Media release

UGPA calls for changes to mandatory reporting law to protect Australian doctors and their patients

8 March 2018

Australia’s peak medical bodies are calling for support from all sides of politics to change state–based mandatory reporting requirements to protect Australian doctors and their patients.

United General Practice Australia (UGPA) says Australian mandatory reporting laws should be in line with recommendations made by the Medical Council of New South Wales and the model adopted by Western Australia.

Mandatory reporting for treating practitioners increases the risk that health practitioners will not seek independent medical assessment, advice and treatment to address a physical or psychological medical condition.   

To ensure the intent of mandatory reporting is achieved, which is improving the safety for the public, it is essential that health practitioners are encouraged and supported to seek care from treating health practitioners when appropriate. This is best achieved through removing the mandatory reporting road block from treating health practitioners, with the expectations that health practitioners will be free to properly treat their colleague patients and will report when they see a genuine risk to the public, as they have always done.

UGPA urges the state and territory ministers to support changes to mandatory reporting law for the good of both the medical profession and patients.

 

UGPA comprises the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), General Practice Supervisors Australia (GPSA), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).