In its submission to the Senate Committee, the AMA provided feedback on the administration of registration and notifications by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and related entities under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.
AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said doctors remained “gravely concerned” about mandatory reporting requirements.
“Practitioners are also patients and should have equal rights to access confidential, high-quality medical treatment – just as their patients do. Australia’s medical practitioners desperately need legislation that does not actively discourage them from seeking medical treatment when they need it,” he said.
The AMA had worked hard to ensure the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) was transparent, efficient and fair. The submission said AMA would continue to work with all governments, with AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) to improve the scheme so it supported good practice without having an impact on doctors who practice according to acceptable professional standards and did not impact on the mental health of any doctor.
The AMA understands the need to ensure all regulatory schemes and legislation are reviewed and tested regularly. However the AMA continued to be disappointed at the lack of rigour and evidence applied to the assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the National Scheme.
The AMA submission says there is a lack of evidence, or appropriate business cases, to support major changes to the National Law which are being developed under the auspices of the Health Council.
The AMA believes that these changes are liable to have major impacts on the lives and work of medical practitioners, without necessarily improving standards of care for patients.