Dr Bradley's story

Dr Bradley made a complaint to the Ombudsman about the way Ahpra and the Medical Board handled his application for limited registration to undertake a period of supervised practice as a junior medical officer

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Dr Bradley made an application to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the Medical Board of Australia for limited registration to undertake a period of supervised practice as a junior medical officer.

Dr Bradley contacted us to raise concerns that his application was not being handled in a timely manner. He believed the delay had resulted in the withdrawal of an offer of employment, which exacerbated the financial hardship he was suffering because he was unable to work as a medical practitioner while unregistered.

Our investigation found that Ahpra had not acknowledged Dr Bradley’s request to speed up the assessment of his application for registration due to severe financial hardship. We also noted that while Ahpra was not satisfied that Dr Bradley had provided enough evidence to satisfy the registration requirements, it did not request additional supporting information from him early in the registration process. Dr Bradley had proactively sought to ensure the Medical Board had all the information it needed, and it would have been better if Ahpra had asked Dr Bradley to provide evidence to resolve its concerns before the Board assessed his application. This could have saved time and also reduced stress for Dr Bradley, who was later asked to provide this information in a short timeframe.

We provided formal comments to Ahpra about the issues we identified in this complaint.

In response to our comments, Ahpra advised that it is undertaking a review of its policy regarding financial hardship. It intends to broaden the scope of the policy to allow for more timely assessment of an application for registration where the applicant is experiencing severe financial hardship while recognising the importance of ensuring an applicant meets all of the necessary requirements to practise safely.

Find out how to make a complaint to the Ombudsman or Commissioner.

Find out more about how to apply for review of Ahpra's FOI decision.

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