Mandatory reporting of impaired medical practitioners

Bismark, Morris & Clarke from the University of Melbourne have today published an article entitled Mandatory reporting of impaired medical practitioners: protecting patients, supporting practitioners.  The article appears in Internal Medicine Journal (RACP) and will shortly be freely available online.

The abstract explains:

Taking action to protect patients from impaired colleagues is a long-standing ethical and professional obligation. In 2010, this responsibility was codified in law with the introduction, across Australia, of a new mandatory reporting regimen. While several concerns remain to be addressed, mandatory reporting has the potential not only to reinforce the primacy of patient safety, but also to open internal dialogue about the profession’s response to concerns about practitioner health and well-being. Four years after the introduction of the scheme, key challenges include ensuring the reporting threshold is appropriately defined and clearly understood, improving access to evidence-based health programmes for practitioners, and strengthening upstream protections to prevent and minimise impairment at its roots.