Mandatory Reporting Update
September saw some further movement on the push to change mandatory reporting laws.
The Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) announced in August that they would develop a discussion paper that would outline possibly recommendations for a nationally consistent approach to mandatory reporting, which would then be considered by the COAG Health Council at their November 2017 meeting.
AHMAC has come up with four options for reform (see Appendix A in this document). In September, AHMAC held a stakeholder forum which the AMA attended, represented by our Federal Vice President Tony Bartone. Other health professions, regulators, consumer groups and health departments from across the country were also in attendance. With such a diverse group it was always unlikely that there would be a clear consensus on the day, however there was a mood for change – although what that change may look like is still to be determined. Health Ministers want to finalise changes in time for legislative changes early in 2018, so whatever changes occurs, it is likely to be a relatively quick process. For its part, the AMA has prepared a submission to the AHMAC proposing the adoption of the ‘WA model’ across Australia, which is listed as Option 2 in the AHMAC paper. Our submission will be submitted by the end of September prior to COAG meeting in November to discuss its options.
AMA Queensland believes it is crucial to have healthy doctors and that this leads to healthier patients. The opportunities to design a system that supports practitioners and the public must not be squandered. We will continue to press our case for reform and will provide a further update following the release of the discussion paper in November.
If you are a doctor who currently treats other doctors or health practitioners or if you are a health practitioner who would like to seek support, please contact the Doctors Health Advisory Service Queensland on (07) 3833 4352 or AMA Queensland on (07) 3872 2222 for confidential advice.
CEO, AMA Queensland