Professional conduct

Complaints are handled in a co-regulatory environment with the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).

Any person may complain to the Council or the HCCC. Both organisations consult on initial assessment and subsequent handling of complaints. Complaints are referred to the HCCC for investigation if the Council (or the HCCC) assess that they raise a significant issue of public safety, or provide grounds for disciplinary action against a practitioner. Information about the HCCC and its investigation and prosecution of complaints is available at www.hccc.nsw.gov.au

Once a complaint has been investigated by the HCCC, the Council and the HCCC consult on what action to take. The Council and the HCCC may decide:

  • to terminate an investigation and take no further action against the practitioner
  • that the HCCC make comments in a letter to the practitioner
  • that the practitioner be counselled by the Medical Council
  • that a complaint be referred to the HCCC Director of Proceedings with a view to referring the matter to a disciplinary hearing before a Professional Standards Committee or a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Disciplinary hearings and decisions
Disciplinary complaints against registered medical practitioners are prosecuted by the HCCC before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal or a Professional Standards Committee (PSC). The Tribunal and PSCs are legally separate from and independent of the Medical Council which provides administrative and technical support for proceedings and implements any hearing decisions. read more

Urgent cases
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) enables the Council to take urgent interim action to suspend or place conditions on a practitioner or medical student where it is appropriate for the protection of the health or safety of any person or it is otherwise in the public interest. read more