The Medical Council is acutely aware of the stress doctors’ experience when a complaint is made about them. We recognise there is much anxiety about your future, your livelihood, your reputation and even your identity, with many doctors understandably asking lots of questions throughout the process.
A consistent focus of the Council is to ensure we continually refine and tweak processes to become more timely, empathetic and transparent. It is pertinent to note that 83% of complaints result in either “no further action" or are discontinued outright.
“No further action” means that the complaint, combined with existing knowledge of the doctor did not meet the risk threshold to warrant further action. A complaint may also result in ‘no further action’ if a practitioner has reflected on their practice, acknowledged areas of concern and taken steps to improve.
If the doctor has no insight into the issue, delegates will extract the key themes of the complaint and provide the doctor with recommendations and advice on next steps. Council does not monitor this advice for compliance, but the complaint and any recommendations will remain on file to assist Council to form a holistic picture of the practitioner and pick up any potential trends should additional complaints occur in future.