Dr Devi's story

Dr Devi made a complaint to the Ombudsman about the handling of a notification made about him

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Dr Devi made a complaint to the Ombudsman about the handling of a notification made about him. Dr Devi disagreed with the Dental Board of Australia’s decision and said there was a conflict of interest involving the independent opinion provided by another health practitioner about the matter. He also raised concerns he was not given enough time to respond to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's (Ahpra) correspondence, that there was unreasonable delay in Ahpra’s investigation, and that Ahpra did not inform him of how to complain about the Board’s decision.

Our investigation found it was reasonable for the Board to consider the independent opinion report because Ahpra took reasonable steps to confirm the independent opinion provider did not know Dr Devi.

We also found, however, that the investigation took 27 months to complete and that while there was regular activity during this time, Ahpra could have potentially reduced the investigation’s overall length.

The Ombudsman made formal comments and suggestions for improvement to Ahpra, particularly about the processes surrounding the independent opinion. The largest contributing factor to the length of the investigation was the time taken to commission and obtain the independent opinion. The investigation could have been completed faster had Ahpra commissioned the report quickly and responded to the independent opinion provider’s requests for more information promptly.

The Ombudsman also noted that although Dr Devi had been provided with enough time to make submissions to Ahpra and the Board, he should have been formally invited to respond to the independent opinion report and been afforded enough time to do so. We are pleased to see that this is now Ahpra’s standard process.

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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