Record high notifications to AHPRA

AHPRA’s Annual Report for 2017/2018 announced a 5.5% increase in notifications to a record high of 7,276. 

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It took ‘immediate action’ against 413 practitioners to restrict their practice where it considered the safety of the public at risk. This included 350 medical practitioners of which 52 had their registration suspended.

A notification was received for 1.6% of all registered health practitioners, however, this was higher for the disciplines of most MIPS members:

  • 5.1% of all medical practitioners
  • 3.7% of all dental practitioners
  • 0.2% of all medical radiation practitioners.

Key statistics

  • 5,005 practitioners had their registration monitored in 2017/18
  • 1,043 complaints related to advertising
  • 51.5% of notifications made to AHPRA this year were regarding medical practitioners (down from 52.4% in 2016/2017)
  • 7.2% increase in mandatory reporting notifications
  • 68% of matters (finalised) that posed serious risk to the public led to suspension, surrender of registration or restrictions on registration

Who raised the complaints?

Complaints are most often made by a patient, their relative or a member of the public.  Other practitioners, employers, health complaints entities or Boards are also responsible for the volume of complaints made against healthcare practitioners.

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Type of complaints?

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The three most common complaints were about clinical care (41.1%), medication issues (12.6%) and health impairment (8.9%). The remaining complaints were about communication, documentation, behaviour, boundary violations, offences against other laws, national law breaches and confidentiality.

Complaints were most often made by a patient, their relative or a member of the public.  

 

Dental

Out of 23,093 total registered dental practitioners, 539 notifications were lodged with AHPRA and 173 were monitored by AHPRA for health, performance and/or conduct during the year.

As at 30 June 2018, 123 cases were being monitored by AHPRA; 12 on the grounds of conduct, 17 for health reasons, 66 for performance, 6 prohibited practitioners/students and 22 for suitability/eligibility for registration.

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Medical

Australia’s 115,113 medical practitioners comprise 16.4% of all AHPRA registered practitioners:

  • 5.1% had notification made about them and immediate action was taken 148 times
  • 880 medical practitioners were monitored by AHPRA for health, performance and/or conduct during the year. 

1,692 cases were being monitored by AHPRA as at 30 June 2018; 100 on the grounds of conduct, 205 for health reasons, 230 for performance, 85 prohibited practitioners/students, 1.072 for suitability/eligibility for registration.

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How do MIPS members compare?

In 2017/2018 MIPS responded to 5,066 member notifications including 279 that escalated to claims, a 6% increase from 2016/2017. During the 2017/2018 period, MIPS received 6,200 new contacts from members seeking advice, assistance and support. 

Approximately 80% of those contacts related to non-liability matters such as advice on matters or incidents deemed not likely to give rise to a claim – this was consistent with previous years. 

During this financial year, MIPS had 595 notifications relating to non-medical indemnity matters considered under MIPS Protections . The  issues include a number of which had the potential to significantly impact on the member’s ability to continue practice. This was slightly more but otherwise consistent with previous years. 

Common matters include: 

  • allegations of boundary transgressions (non-patient staff member or fellow employee) 
  • alleged bias in performance assessments affecting outcome and/or results
  • allegations of bullying and being bullied 
  • issues involving colleagues (especially impaired and/or underperforming colleagues). 

Matters can include complaints to AHPRA or a health services body. Often the cause of the matter is a dispute with a hospital, employer, contractor or representation in an employee/employer dispute in an industrial relations jurisdiction. Non-medical indemnity risks can represent a large component of active clinical practice leading to an on-going need for members to seek assistance under MIPS Protections.

As always, we encourage all members to seek assistance from MIPS’ 24-hour Clinico-Legal Support line on 1800 061 113 as soon as they become aware of any issue that has arisen. This is particularly important with an AHPRA complaint to ensure MIPS can assist and advise you concerning an appropriate and timely response. <

Further information related to this topic: 

AHPRA unplugged: What they do and why
AHPRA and other Mandatory Requirements
AHPRA self-reporting requirements

All images and data courtesy of AHPRA's Annual Report 2017/2018

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The materials provided are for educational purposes only. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken in preparing these materials, including the accuracy of the information supplied, MIPS does not accept any liability whatsoever arising out of the use or reliance of the information provided. Contact MIPS 24/7 Clinico-Legal Support 1800 061 113 or education@mips.com.au for specific advice.