FAQs - General questions about the Commission

How can I check if my practitioner's registration has been cancelled?

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) maintains a national register of practitioners whose registration was cancelled under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

How can I check if my practitioner has been suspended or has conditions on their registration?

For registered practitioners, such as medical practitioners or nurses, you can check whether there are any restrictions on their practice by searching the national register that is maintained by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Can I check if my practitioner has had any complaints or disciplinary action taken against him or her?

In general, the Commission cannot release information relating to complaints unless all parties involved consent to such a release. Under the Health Care Complaints Act, the Commission may release information only to certain defined bodies or persons, such as the Minister, Police or the Coroner.

However, if a complaint results in the prosecution of a registered health practitioner before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal or a Professional Standards Committee, results of these prosecutions are generally made publicly available. The Commission also publishes prohibition orders and public statements it makes in relation to unregistered health practitioners.

What is the background and experience of Commission staff?

The Commission’s staff are experienced in a broad range of fields, including medical, nursing, legal and policing.

When the Commission deals with complaints involving clinical issues, it will also consult with internal medical and nursing advisers or external experts, who practise in the same area as the health practitioner complained about. The expert’s opinion will assist the Commission in its decision about a complaint.

I am a practitioner who has been the subject of a complaint that was not substantiated. Is my name on the Commission’s database forever?

The Commission has an internal database, where relevant information relating to complaints is recorded. The Commission also has hardcopy files in relation to each individual complaint, which it must keep under the State Records Act for at least 10 years after the complaint has been finalised. However, these records are confidential and cannot be released by the Commission unless the situation would fall under one of the exceptions defined in section 99B of the Health Care Complaints Act.

Can I access complaints files under Government Information (Public Access) legislation?

The Commission is exempt from requests for information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act in relation to its complaint handling functions. So, you cannot get access to any complaint files handled by the Commission under this legislation.

What if I am not happy with the way in which the Commission has managed my complaint? Who can I complain to about the Commission?

If you are unhappy with any aspect of the Commission’s work, please let the Commissioner know. She will try to resolve your concerns and, if appropriate, investigate any issues raised. You can use the online feedback form or address a letter to:

Commissioner
Health Care Complaints Commission
LMB 18
Strawberry Hills  NSW  2012

There are other bodies you may complain to about specific concerns you have in relation to the Commission: