17 Jun 2020
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) welcomes the independent review by the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner (NHPOPC) of the confidentiality safeguards in place for individuals making notifications about registered health practitioners.
The Review of confidentiality safeguards for people making notifications about health practitioners was conducted at the request of Ahpra following the conviction of a general practitioner for the attempted murder of a pharmacist who had made a notification about his prescribing practices.
It examined Ahpra’s current management of confidential and anonymous notifications and whether there were ways in which safeguards could be strengthened to ensure the safety of notifiers.
The review found that Ahpra’s practices for managing confidentiality and anonymity were reasonable and consistent with the practices of other regulators internationally. However, there were improvements that could be made.
Ahpra has accepted all ten recommendations and outlined a timeline to adopt these changes. Our full response is available below.
Ahpra Chief Executive Martin Fletcher thanked the Commissioner for her work.
‘We want reporting to be safe for all notifiers. Information disclosed to us by notifiers is critical to our work as a regulator and keeping the public safe. So, it is vital that individuals feel safe to raise their concerns with us,’ Mr Fletcher said.
The review makes practical recommendations for strengthening the protection of notifiers while recognising the importance of fairness for health practitioners who are the subject of a notification.
We have accepted all ten recommendations, a number of which we are already progressing.
Ahpra and the National Boards are continuing our work to improve the notifications experience for both notifiers and health practitioners who are subject to a notification.