25 June 2018

Allegations not proven – but still published?

Medicolegal Mental Health

Would you visit a doctor who has, next to his or her name in the public register, a mention of a court proceeding or tribunal hearing?

Or would you prefer to see another doctor, even if the small print on the register stated “allegations not proven”?

I often find the legalese speak on AHPRA’s website difficult to understand. A recent report recommended that the register should include web links to published disciplinary decisions and court rulings – which AHPRA has been implementing.

However, and this is not immediately clear from the explanation on the website, apparently proceedings will also be published when a doctor or other health practitioner was found not guilty.

Complaints that have been dismissed in a tribunal as without merit will still be listed with a link to the relevant court or tribunal ruling, according to this article on DoctorPortal. The issue was also flagged at the national AMA Conference last month.

This measure is meant to “build trust between doctors and patients”. I’m not sure it is protecting the public but I can imagine that publishing complaints that have been dismissed is confusing for the public – and can also be misinterpreted.

It has the potential to not only affect the reputation of health professionals unfairly, but also their mental health and general wellbeing.

We need to have another long hard look at this.

Something to say?

Leave a Reply

8 Comments on "Allegations not proven – but still published?"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Joe Kosterich
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

A bloated unaccountable bureaucracy which plays the “safety” card to cover any actions it takes. AHPRA has no commitment to natural justice or procedural fairness. How much more blood will be on its hands before it is reigned in?

Dr John Barr
Guest
Dr John Barr
4 months 21 days ago

Guilty until proven innocent. Surely the medical profession must be the only profession where this is the case. As Dr M says, we are now forever guilty, as patients won’t read the small print. Why do we stand for this?

Genevieve Yates
Guest
4 months 21 days ago
Let’s consider the facts rationally: I think it is important to realise that this move is NOT about publishing unproven complaints and NOT about making new material public – it is simply about linking already publicly available material to the online register. Tribunal and court decisions have been published for all of the 15 Boards under AHPRA for some time – this is not new. Also, Coroner’s reports, PSR findings and court rulings (from many different courts) have long been published and are in the public domain. The March 2018 change will not result in the release of new information,… Read more »
JOHN QUAYLE
Guest
JOHN QUAYLE
4 months 21 days ago

I think this is disgusting ! So much for the jurisprudence of the law and “innocent until proven guilty” dictum

Dr M
Guest
Dr M
4 months 21 days ago

AHPRA – “Gillard’s Gestapo” is alive and well. Why doctors should be treated any differently to any other person in this country stuns me. No longer just a reverse of innocent until proven guilty, doctors now will be forever guilty even after being found to be innocent …….. what a disgrace!

DR ROBERT PEERS
Guest
4 months 21 days ago
Hi Dr M, What did Julia Gillard have to do with starting AHPRA? I understand the whole thing may have been dreamt up by health bureaucrats who had a left-wing desire, apparently, to set up a central national body to force the medical, allied and nonsensical [chiro/osteo/chinese med] practitioners to do the combined bidding of the COAG Ministers for Hospitals, Medicines and Mortuaries. This Soviet-style planning was nicely in line with former Labor “Health” Minister Neal Blewett’s ardent wish to create here a copy of the UK’s National “Health” Service. Blewett–like ALP folks in general–resented private medicine, which did look… Read more »
wpDiscuz