On 1 December 2016, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:
The complaints mechanism administered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.
The terms of reference are:
- the implementation of the current complaints system under the National Law, including the role of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards;
- whether the existing regulatory framework, established by the National Law, contains adequate provision for addressing medical complaints;
- the roles of AHPRA, the National Boards and professional organisations, such as the various Colleges, in addressing concerns within the medical profession with the complaints process;
- the adequacy of the relationships between those bodies responsible for handling complaints;
- whether amendments to the National Law, in relation to the complaints handling process, are required; and
- other improvements that could assist in a fairer, quicker and more effective medical complaints process.
The committee intends to adopt a broad interpretation of the phrase 'medical complaints' in terms of reference b., c. and f. The committee welcomes all submissions that specifically address the complaints mechanism under the National Law.
The focus of this inquiry is the implementation and regulation of the complaints mechanism administered under the Health Practitioners Regulation National Law. Submissions outlining details of individual cases or complaints may assist the committee in identifying broader systemic issues for investigation. However, the committee has no power to investigate, advocate for or resolve individual cases. To protect the privacy of submitters, the committee has resolved not to publish any submissions outlining individual cases
Please note: All correspondence, submissions and other evidence provided to the committee’s previous inquiry into the medical complaints process in Australia is available to the committee for this inquiry. This means that submissions accepted by the committee for its previous inquiry do not need to be re-submitted.
Submissions should be received by 24 February 2017. The reporting date is 10 May 2017.
If you are considering lodging a submission to this inquiry you should consider the guidance on preparing a submission to an inquiry available on the Senate website.