Mandatory reporting input
ALL health professionals including pharmacists should be exempted from mandatory reporting requirements, according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
In a submission to a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) review of reporting rules, the PSA has urged the adoption of Western Australia’s model for pharmacists seeking treatment for mental health and stress-related conditions.
To achieve a nationally consistent approach, COAG’s consultation paper has proposed four options, including the adoption of the WA model (Option 2), which exempts treating practitioners from mandatory reporting requirements.
PSA national president Dr Shane Jackson said, “PSA strongly supports access to healthcare for health professionals balanced with public safety.
“Pharmacists should be able to seek treatment for health issues confidentially without fear that their professional careers will be at risk,” Jackson said.
With rates of suicide among health professionals the highest among Australia’s white-collar workforce, Jackson added, “We are concerned that fear of mandatory reporting may reduce access to necessary healthcare for vulnerable health practitioners”.
He said Australia’s pharmacy profession has a variety of robust codes, standards and guidelines for ethical and professional practice.
“PSA believes that pharmacists are well equipped to exercise professional judgement and meet their professional and ethical obligations to report a serious risk of harm,” Jackson added.
The full PSA submission is available online at psa.org.au.