NAVIGATING THE MEDICAL BOARD IRENE ROTENKO, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN PANEL AND HEARINGS MEMBER, MCNSW DECEMBER 2015

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1 NAVIGATING THE MEDICAL BOARD IRENE ROTENKO, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN PANEL AND HEARINGS MEMBER, MCNSW DECEMBER 2015

2 WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? Protection of the public Procedural fairness Confidentiality balanced with appropriate transparency

3 WHAT IS IT? AHPRA Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Responsible for Registration works in partnership with 14 National Health Practitioner Boards, one of which is the MBA Medical Board of Australia Sets standards, guidelines (eg Good Medical Practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia) Regulates medical practitioners manages complaints (can delegate to state Medical Councils eg MCNSW)

4 WHAT IS IT? MCNSW Medical Council of NSW Statutory authority - 19 members (12 doctors) Law designed to ensure that doctors are fit to practise medicine maintain proper standards of conduct and competence Handles complaints and notifications in conjunction with HCCC Works through three committees Performance, Conduct, Health Publishes policies, guidelines related to conduct, standards, regulations Publishes disciplinary decisions Advises Health Minister

5 WHAT IS IT? HCCC Health Care Complaints Commission Also a statutory body accepts and investigates healthrelated complaints in NSW Non-medical, but works in collaboration with MCNSW (and other health professional organisations) Investigates all complaints about doctors (MCNSW has no power to investigate complaints) Prosecutes serious cases before disciplinary bodies (MCNSW does not prosecute, but may be a party to hearings)

6 WHAT IS IT? NCAT National Civil and Administrative Tribunal A law court headed by a Supreme Court Judge Has powers to suspend or deregister a doctor, and to reinstate registration Taken over functions of previous Medical Tribunal Each panel chaired by Judge, assisted by two doctors and a lay person Respondent can be represented (usually by MDO) Hearings are open to public, but binding non-publication orders may be made Not bound by rules of evidence (eg in criminal proceedings) panel needs only to be reasonably convinced

7 COMPLAINT PATHWAY Complaint received by HCCC or MCNSW (n=1700) Discussed at weekly meeting urgent action required? No Further action required? Yes (n=50) Yes (n=550) No (n=1100) MCNSW convenes S150 proceedings (suspension 16, conditions 29)

8 COMPLAINT PATHWAY Further non-urgent action required HCCC MCNSW Investigate Prosecute Deregister, Impose conditions Interview, Assess,Counsel, Reprimand, Impose conditions

9 MEDICAL COUNCIL NSW Performance (clinical) MCNSW Conduct (Behaviour) Health (impairment)

10 MANDATORY NOTIFICATION (76 IN ) Section 140 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW). It requires registered health practitioners, education providers and employers of a registered medical practitioner to make a report if they have formed a reasonable belief that another registered medical practitioner has either: Practised the profession while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs; Engaged in sexual misconduct in connection with the practice of the medical practitioner s profession; Placed the public at risk of substantial harm in the medical practitioner s practice of the profession because the medical practitioner has an impairment; or Placed the public at risk of harm because the medical practitioner has practised the profession in a way that constitutes a significant departure from accepted professional standards.

11 CONTACT WITH MCNSW/HCCC Make a complaint or notification Visit website Can seek advice from MDO, AMA, ASMOF, etc Receive notification of a complaint Visit website for info on process GET HELP MDO in first instance Seek guidance EARLY before replying to any official correspondence or attending eg fact-finding meeting Prompt, courteous, considerate initial response can prevent much angst Good documentation (incl note to self) is priceless

12 SUMMARY Complex but robust regulatory system Legal framework with appeal process Protection of public is main concern If become involved, obtain good advice early DOCUMENT!!! ANY QUESTIONS?

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