Medicolegal matters

Where is the harm? Mandatory reporting requirements for treating practitioners



© aj_watt/ models used for illustrative purposes only
© aj_watt/ models used for illustrative purposes only


This series highlights common medicolegal issues  in general practice. Written by a team from medical defence organisation Avant, the scenarios are based on a range of previous cases, with details changed for privacy and some issues summarised for the sake of discussion. This scenario explores the issues surrounding mandatory notifications, in particular the obligations on a medical practitioner under the legislative reforms to come into effect in March 2020, when another health practitioner comes to see them for medical assistance.

Article Extract

Like all registered health practitioners, medical practitioners have a mandatory notification obligation if they form a reasonable belief that another health practitioner has engaged in notifiable conduct.1 The aim of mandatory notification is to protect the public from being placed at harm.2 A common issue, and one that is the cause of widespread discussion and media attention, is the scenario where a medical practitioner sees their GP for assistance because they are not well.3 In 2019, new mandatory notification reforms were passed, which amend the notification obligations doctors have when they are treating other health practitioners. These changes will come into effect in March 2020.