Overview

Role
The Medical Council of NSW (Council), in Australia, is a statutory authority established under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW). This law is designed to ensure that medical practitioners are fit to practise medicine. It achieves this by ensuring registered doctors maintain proper standards of conduct and competence.

The Council was established on 1 July 2010, and currently consists of 19 Members appointed by the Governor of New South Wales on the recommendation of the NSW Minister for Health. Council Members are conversant with consumer interests and participate directly in all matters before the Council. Twelve Members are doctors, and seven are non-medical Members.

The Council is funded through registration fees paid by all doctors in NSW. Until 1 July 2010, the (former) New South Wales Medical Board carried out Council's responsibilities.

The Council functions through its Professional Conduct, Performance and Health Committees, which meet monthly and report to a full Council meeting every second month.

What the Council can and cannot do
The Medical Council of NSW receives and assists with a broad range of enquiries from practitioners, patients, organisations and the broader community. To help direct enquiries, the following is an overview of the Council's key roles and activities as well as the areas where the Council has no jurisdiction, and where other bodies may offer assistance. The Council also publishes a list of frequently asked questions and answers, which may be of further help.

The Medical Council of NSW:
+ Receives and administers complaints against medical practitioners and medical students, in conjunction with the Health Care Complaints Commissionx Cannot provide personal or contact details for individual medical practitioners other than as per the Register (see AHPRA) due to privacy and confidentiality laws
+ Administers the Health Program for doctors and medical students suffering ill-healthx Cannot deal with complaints relating to health care providers other than doctors and medical students or complaints about health care organisations (see Health Care Complaints Commission)
+ Administers the Performance Program for doctors whose professional performance may be below appropriate peer standards x Does not issue provider/prescriber numbers to medical practitioners (see Medicare Australia)
+ Publishes policies on good medical practice and other resources related to conduct, standards and regulationsx Cannot get access to your medical records for you (see the Federal Privacy Commissioner)
+ Publishes disciplinary decisions x Cannot provide medical or legal advice to individuals, or award damages or compensation
+ Advises the NSW Health Minister on relevant issues x Does not have responsibility for medical employment (undertaken by private and public employers, and recruitment agencies)
x Does not maintain or provide medical workforce or other health statistics or make decisions regarding workforce numbers and policies (see federal/state governments)
x Does not accredit, manage applications for, or conduct medical education and training (see Australian Medical Council and/or medical colleges)
Last updated April 2012