A question we regularly get asked by medical practitioners charged with a criminal offence is “I am a (doctor, nurse, psychologist, dentist, chiropractor, pharmacist etc), do I have to notify APHRA?”. The answer is almost always, yes.
All Registered Health Practitioners are governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) 2009 (NSW). Section 130 of that Act requires all Registered Health Practitioners to notify the National Board of ‘certain events’, which includes:
Most importantly, the Practitioner must notify the National Board within 7 days (calendar days, not business days) of either of the above. For example:
This rule also applies to a student.
Ordinarily, the easiest way to comply with section 130 is to notify AHPRA using their online portal to ‘submit a concern to AHPRA’ and self-reporting the event.
A failure to notify the National Board of an event under section 130 can satisfy grounds for unsatisfactory professional conduct, resulting in action being taken against registration (for example, a ‘section 150 hearing’), known as ‘disciplinary proceedings’.
It is important to obtain legal advice if charged with any criminal or traffic offences to confirm your obligations under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.
This article was written by Streeton Lawyers Senior Associate Adam Faro, who regularly acts for doctors and other registered health practitioners charged with criminal offences. In doing so, Adam, while acting for his client in the criminal proceedings, works closely with various Medical Indemnity Insurers and their referral firms, acting for the client in concurrent disciplinary proceedings.
Photo by Leonid Yastremskiy