Laws spark tripling of colleague reporting

MANDATORY reporting laws introduced in July 2010 have resulted in a tripling of notifications against doctors in at least one state, with the national regulator admitting that confusion about the new rules could be behind the spike.

In a snapshot of the impact of mandatory reporting laws, figures obtained by MO under Government Information (Public Access) laws show mandatory notifications against registered medical practitioners in NSW leapt from 13 in the year to 30 July 2010 up to 37 in the 11 months to the end of May this year.

The biggest increase was in notifications on “departure from accepted professional standards”, which jumped up steeply from five in 2009–10 to 20.

The new “impairment” clause, which requires any health practitioner to report doctors who may be placing the public at risk due to any form of physical or mental impairment, resulted in 11 notifications.

However, the number of total