Negligence and Standards of Care » Whistleblowing

Guidelines and Policies

Guide to ethical principles in the responsibility to report impairment of a medical practitioner [PDF]
Psychiatrist must report if they believe capacity of a medical practitioner to treat patients may be affected.

Impaired Doctors [PDF]
Practice support guide.

NSW Health ‘Complaint or Concern About A Clinician’ Guidelines and Policy – including re. legislative requirements to act on clinician performance issues
Guideline – Complaint or Concern about a Clinician – Management Guidelines
Policy Directive – Complaint or Concern about a Clinician – Principles for Action


Aged Care Act 1997
Provides for mandatory reporting of ‘reportable assaults’ and protection for people who report such incidents.

Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 NSW
This Act has had a series of amendments passed by the NSW Parliament during 2010-2011, the most recent being the Public Interest Disclosures Amendment Act 2011 in September 2011.  The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 has set up a scheme for people who work in the NSW public sector (e.g. in a department or a local council) to come forward with important information.  The NSW Ombudsman website has information about these changes to the Act along with guidelines and factsheets.

Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 Vic
Protects people who report incidents in public institutions.

Toolkits and Protocols

Furness and Bolson
Medico-legal Society of NSW

Papers, Reports and Books

Aged care amendments: reportable assaults and protection for ‘whistleblowers’.
(2007) Australian Health Law Bulletin 16(1): 7-8
Author: Silvia Bastianon
Outlines the amendments in the Aged Care Amendment (Security and Protection) Act 2007 (Cth) that imposes compulsory reporting of reportable assaults and protection for those reporting them.

Telling Tales and Saving Lives: Whistleblowing – The Role of Professional Colleagues in Protecting Patients from Dangerous Doctors
(2001) Medical Law Review 9(2): 110
Author: Julia Burrows
Consideration of how Doctors whose performance is questionable can be more readily identified.

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