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When Does AHPRA Take Action?

Overview 

  • Anyone concerned about their medical treatment is able to make an AHPRA notification.
  • Queensland residents should make complaints to the OHO.
  • New South Wales residents should make complaints to the NSW HCCC. 
  • Victorian residents should make complaints to the VIC HCCC.
  • A list of cancelled, disqualified or prohibited health practitioners is published on the AHPRA website here.
  • Complaints can be made about treatment received by a number of providers.
  • Complaints are free.
  • The complaint can be made via the relevant website, phone or post.
  • You will be provided with the outcome of your complaint. 


What Is AHPRA?

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is a regulatory body. They regulate the conduct of all registered health practitioners in Australia and work alongside 15 National Boards to do this.

The primary goal of AHPRA is to protect the health and safety of the public and act in their best interests. The policies and guidelines that AHPRA creates must be met by all registered health practitioners.


What Is a Registered Health Practitioner?

AHPRA maintains a list of all health practitioners that are registered to practice in Australia, which include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners;
  • Chinese Medicine Practitioners;
  • Chiropractors;
  • Dental Practitioners;
  • Medical Practitioners (Doctors);
  • Medical Radiation Practitioners;
  • Nurses;
  • Midwives;
  • Occupational Therapists;
  • Optometrists;
  • Osteopaths;
  • Paramedics;
  • Pharmacists;
  • Physiotherapists;
  • Podiatrists; and
  • Psychologists

 

Searching for a Practitioner

AHPRA has a public list of practitioners that have been cancelled, disqualified and/or prohibited from practice.

AHPRA also has a list of practitioners who have agreed not to practice due to previous complaints that have been made about them. 

The list of practitioners can be found here.
 


Healthcare Complaints in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (Non-Criminal)

Queensland 

In Queensland, contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) to make a complaint about a health practitioner or health service.

You can make a complaint through the online complaint form here or phone 133 646.

NSW

In New South Wales, contact the NSW Health Professional Councils Authority on their website here or phone 1300 197 177 or (02) 9879 2200. 

Alternatively, you can contact the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) on their website here  or phone 1800 043 159 or (02) 9219 7444.

Victoria

Contact the VIC Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) on their website here or phone 1300 582 113.

Alternatively, you can lodge a complaint directly to AHPRA.

It is free to make a complaint to any of these services. The OHO/HCCC will listen to your complaint and may commence an investigation. 

This can lead to several different outcomes, which include: 

  • an explanation or apology for the incident;
  • a refund for the health service that was provided;
  • escalation to AHPRA for investigation;
  • a practitioner being reprimanded; 
  • penalties and sanctions applied to the practitioner’s registration; and
  • in very serious matters, cancellation of a practitioner’s medical registration in Australia. 


Healthcare Complaints (Criminal)

If a healthcare practitioner has engaged in criminal conduct, this should be reported directly to the Police and to AHPRA (instead of going through the OHO or HCCC process).

AHPRA can take immediate action to protect the health and safety of the public. 


Why Should a Notification to AHPRA Be Made?

Notifications (complaints) to AHPRA help to protect the health and safety of the public. This ensures that AHPRA and the National Boards are made aware of any threat to public health and safety.

They can act to prevent further problems from occurring in the future.

AHPRA is also entitled to take disciplinary action. 


How to Make a Voluntary Notification

Anyone can make a complaint to AHPRA if they are concerned about the behaviour of a health practitioner that they have experienced or witnessed.

The National Law will protect the notifier from liability when they make a notification in good faith. The notifier is able to choose to remain anonymous.

You can make a complaint by using AHPRA’s online portal here or phone 1300 419 495.

It is free to make a notification to AHPRA. 

AHPRA will listen to your concerns and provide you with an update when it is possible. 

 

Summary

AHPRA regulates the compliance of Australian health practitioners to ensure that the care they provide to patients is consistent and safe.

If you live in Queensland and are unhappy with the treatment received from a healthcare provider, you can make a complaint to the OHO.

If you live in New South Wales are unhappy with the treatment received from a healthcare provider, you can make a complaint to either the NSW Health Professional Councils Authority or the HCCC. 

If you live anywhere else in Australia or are looking to make a complaint about a criminal matter involving a healthcare professional, you can lodge a notification with AHPRA. 

For more information, consult with the AHPRA website here

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