Mandatory reports: New research

MJA Online today published a report by Dr Marie Bismark & others, entitled Mandatory reports of concerns about the health, performance and conduct of health practitioners.
Based on 819 mandatory notifications from late 2011 until the end of 2012, for all Australian jurisdictions except New South Wales, the study contains a wealth of analysis. 
Overall analysis showed 18.3 reports per 10,000 practitioners. The highest report rates (more than 40 per 10,000 practitioners) were for psychologists, doctors and nurses / midwives.
The majority of notifications (62%) were for departures from accepted professional standards, otherwise the notifications were for impairment (17%), intoxication (13%) and sexual misconduct (8%);
Some other points of interest included:
  • Employers made 46% of notifications;
  • Reports of male practitioners were 2.5 times more frequent than of female practitioners (adjusted for numbers);
  • The profession of the reporter and the notifier was the same in 80% of reports;
  • Reporting rates varied between States and also as between cities and rural / remote areas.

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