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The Office of the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman (NHP Ombudsman) and Privacy Commissioner can ONLY investigate the actions of the fourteen National Medical Boards, as well as other investigatory bodies such as the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Before the NHP Ombudsman can investigate a complaint, a person has to raise the complaint or concern with the national agency they are complaining about. To make a complaint, the complaint must be addressed to the State or Territory Manager of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. If the person wants the NHP Ombudsman to become involved, the complaint must also be addressed to the NHP Ombudsman.

The NHP Ombudsman does not have to investigate a complaint. The NHP Ombudsman will investigate a complaint if the initial look into the complaint discovers that there are grounds for the complaint, or if it is possible for the NHP Ombudsman to help. An overview of the complaints process is available online. THE NHP Ombudsman can not force any decision on the parties involved. Only recommendations are possible. Recommendations might include an apology, a reconsideration of a decision, or compensation where appropriate.
The NHP Ombudsman can only investigate national agencies within the National Scheme. These are:

  • the Australian Heath Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

the 14 National Boards

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice,
  • Chinese Medicine,
  • Chiropractic,
  • Dental,
  • Medical,
  • Medical Radiation Practice,
  • Nursing and Midwifery,
  • Occupational Therapy,
  • Optometry,
  • Osteopathy,
  • Pharmacy,
  • Physiotherapy,
  • Podiatry, and
  • Psychology)

and

  • AHPRA's Agency Management Committee
  • the Australian Health Workforce Advisory Council.

The Privacy Commissioner aspect of the NHP Role concerns the handling of personal information by a national body in the national scheme. The first step is to contact the Privacy Officer of the Australian National Practitioner Regulation Authority. The complaints process mirrors that of the NHP Ombudsman.

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