Insights

Health check: AHPRA releases 2021/2022 annual report

Insurance Law & Litigation
A surgeon in a surgical mask is standing near a window looking to the side. The light from the window casts striped shadows across her face.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has released its 2021/2022 annual report, revealing that over 18,000 notifications were made about health practitioners nationally. This is an increase of 6.2% on the previous year, with the most common concern being clinical care.

The annual report provides an overview of the regulation of registered health practitioners, including physiotherapists, medical practitioners, nurses, podiatrists and psychologists.

The key findings of the report include the following.

Notifications

10,803 notifications were made to AHPRA about 8,380 practitioners. This is an increase of 6.5% on the previous year. Overall, 1.7% of all registered health practitioners had a notification made about them nationally.

Areas of risk to the public

AHPRA has identified five common areas of risk to the public, being:

  • practitioners practising without professional indemnity insurance
  • poor handling of patient complaints
  • informed consent concerns
  • social media, and
  • providing care to family and friends

Common complaints

The most common complaints were clinical care (5,229), communication (1,848), medications (1,422), other conduct issues and anti-vaccination advice (1,067) and documentation (967).

This is consistent with the previous year, with the addition of anti-vaccination advice.

Immediate action

Immediate action was taken on 685 occasions, which represents a significant increase of 14.7% on the previous year.

Mandatory notifications

Mandatory notifications made up 9.6% of the types of notification received. This was 18.4% fewer than the previous year. Of the mandatory notifications, 30% resulted in regulatory action (compared to 13.4% for all notification categories).

Compliance with advertising guidelines

Compliance with advertising guidelines has previously been a focus for AHPRA, and this trend continued in 2021/2022, with 499 advertising complaints (compared to 386 in the previous year).

COVID-19

Of interest, 12% of all notifications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the volume of notifications, AHPRA created a COVID-19 taskforce. Of the COVID-19 notifications, 50% resulted in no further action being taken.

Access the full report.

Image by Cezar Sampaio on Unsplash.

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