Annual report 2022-23

Learn more about how we achieved fair and positive change in the regulation of registered health practitioners in 2022-23

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Our year in numbers
Our work this financial year
received approaches
complaints to the Ombudsman received
enquiries received
FOI matters received

Ombudsman and Commissioner's message

The expansion of my office’s powers regarding accreditation organisations in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme was a watershed moment this financial year. Accreditation ensures health practitioners have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practise their profession safely and competently in Australia. My office’s expanded role in considering accreditation-related complaints is an important step to providing greater accountability and transparency of accreditation processes. We can now consider complaints, for example, about the assessment of overseas-qualified practitioners by accreditation organisations, and the delivery of specialist medical colleges’ training programs.

Australia’s health system continues to operate under increased pressure due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This gives impetus to ensuring processes supporting health practitioner regulation are fair, effective and efficient.

My office continued to see an increase in people seeking assistance this financial year. We received 1,884 approaches, which is an 18 per cent increase compared with last financial year. This included 1,183 enquiries and 663 complaints to the Ombudsman.

During the year we focused on making continuous systemic improvements in Ahpra’s notification and registration processes. Ahpra’s new case management model for notifications appears to have led to improvements in the time taken to finalise notifications. However, complaints to my office about the notifications process increased by 39 per cent this financial year compared with 2021–22. We will continue to examine and monitor the effects of the new model and suggest appropriate remedies to identified issues.

Richelle McCausland

National Health Practitioner Ombudsman

National Health Practitioner Privacy Commissioner

Our Ombudsman complaint handling service in numbers
We finalised
at assessment, down from 590 in 2021-22
through early resolution transfers, up from 106 in 2021-22
through preliminary inquiries, up from 92 in 2021-22
through investigation, down from 93 in 2021-22

* Please note that during 2022–23, we identified a technical error in our webform that led to a small number of matters not being processed promptly. We have taken necessary steps to ensure the error does not occur again. We also apologised to the affected individuals for the error and provided ways to progress their matter if they wished. In addition, the error resulted in some cases being added to our 2021–22 data to ensure our reporting is accurate.

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