Call to relax doctor reporting laws questioned

THE reported suicide of a doctor linked to mandatory reporting laws has renewed calls for a relaxation of the legislation, but a doctors’ health expert has cautioned against such a move.

Giving evidence at a hearing of the AHPRA Senate inquiry, MDA National president Associate Professor Julian Rait claimed he was aware of a case in which a psychiatrist believed a doctor under their treatment posed a risk to patients and reported that doctor to AHPRA.

“As a result of that report, the therapeutic relationship between the psychiatrist and this particular doctor broke down and as a consequence we believe that the practitioner took his own life,” Professor Rait said.

An MDA National spokes­person said the company could not provide details of the case in question but said exemptions for health professionals treating doctors in WA should be introduced nationally.

In all states except WA, health professionals who treat other