Call to soften mandatory reporting laws

Doctors shouldn’t have to report impaired colleagues who willingly undergo treatment and actively take steps to ensure patient safety, researchers say.

Under current regulations, practitioners who practice while intoxicated, engage in sexual misconduct, show signs of substandard practice or are putting the public at risk, must be notified to authorities by treating doctors regardless of whether their underlying condition is being well treated.

However, a study by University of Melbourne researchers of 18 doctors with experience treating impaired colleagues, including three GPs, says