Division 2 Liaising with registration authorities
10 Notifying registration authorities of complaints
(1) If a complaint made under this Act to the Commission is made against or directly involves a health practitioner who is or has been registered under a health registration Act, the Commission must notify the appropriate registration authority of the complaint.
(2) The complaint is to be so notified as soon as practicable after it is made.
11 Complaints made to registration authorities
When, in accordance with a health registration Act, a registration authority notifies the Commission of a complaint made under the health registration Act, the complaint is taken to have been made in accordance with this Act to the Commission.
12 Consultation between the Commission, a registration authority and the Registrar
(1) Before determining, as a result of the assessment of a complaint, whether to investigate a complaint, to refer the complaint for conciliation, to deal with the complaint under Division 9 or to discontinue dealing with the complaint, the Commission must consult with the appropriate registration authority, subject to this section.
(1A) If it is proposed, as a result of the assessment of a complaint, to refer the complaint for conciliation, the Commission must also consult with the Registrar.
(2) The regulations may prescribe circumstances, such as cases of urgency, where the Commission may consult with a prescribed person on behalf of the appropriate registration authority instead of consulting with the registration authority itself and where the prescribed person may exercise the other functions of the registration authority under this Division.
13 The outcomes of consultation
(1) If either the Commission or the appropriate registration authority is of the opinion that a complaint (or any part of a complaint) should be investigated, it must be investigated.
(a) neither the Commission nor the appropriate registration authority is of the opinion that the complaint (or part) should be investigated, but
(b) either is of the opinion that it should be referred to the registration authority for consideration as to whether the registration authority should take any action under the relevant health registration Act (such as performance assessment or impairment assessment),
it must be referred to the registration authority under section 25B.
(a) neither the Commission nor the appropriate registration authority is of the opinion that the complaint (or part) should be investigated or referred to the registration authority, but
(b) either is of the opinion that it should be referred for conciliation and the Registrar considers that it is appropriate for conciliation,
the Commission is to refer the complaint for conciliation under Division 8.
Note. Only the Medical Practice Act 1992 and the Nurses and Midwives Act 1991 contain provisions relating to performance assessment.
14 Suspension of action by registration authority
(1) A registration authority must not take any action under a health registration Act concerning a complaint while it is subject to investigation by the Commission or is being dealt with under Division 8 or 9.
(2) This section does not limit any power of a registration authority under a health registration Act to do anything to protect the life or the physical or mental health of any person.
15 Provision of information to registration authorities
(1) A registration authority may, at any time, request information from the Commission concerning a specified complaint that is made against or directly involves a health practitioner who is or has been registered under the health registration Act relevant to the registration authority.
(2) The Commission must supply the information requested if it is reasonable to do so.
Note. Division 2 enables the health professional registration boards and the Commission to act in collaboration with each other. The Division will allow complete information sharing between the two arms in the disciplinary system, with a decision to investigate a complaint being made only after there has been consultation between the Commission and the registration authority. Where a disagreement occurs as to the appropriate action, both bodies will retain the ability to refer the matter for investigation, thus creating an internal checking method for all decisions which may result in disciplinary action. This two-pronged system will also apply to decisions to refer complaints for conciliation and will involve the Registrar in the consultation process.