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Protecting the Public? An Analysis of Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings against Doctors in Australia and New Zealand

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The Faculty of Law invites you to a public lecture with guest speaker Dr Katie Elkin.

There has been considerable change in the design of health professional regulation throughout Australia and New Zealand since the beginning of the last decade. As well as ushering in significant structural reform, the legislation in both countries is now more explicit regarding its public protection objectives. However, the degree to which regulatory decision-making is actually consistent with public protection considerations is unclear. The impact of other influences, such as the wider public interest in ensuring an adequate supply of doctors in the workforce, is also unknown.

Through two major empirical analyses of complaints and disciplinary mechanisms in Australian and New Zealand, Dr Elkin has explored these issues and how they impact at throughout the regulatory journey, from registration through to disciplinary sanction. As well as being instructive as to the priorities and operation of the complaints and disciplinary system, the knowledge gained through the research has the potential to assist medical regulators in moving one step closer to being able to proactively identify 'at risk' doctors and behaviours, thus allowing them to target training, support and interventions towards such doctors and concerns.

Dr Elkin graduated from the University of Otago with degrees in Law (Hons) and in Neuroscience, and has subsequently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Law and a PhD in Law and Public Health at the University of Melbourne. Dr Elkin is now the Associate Commissioner, Legal and Strategic Relations at the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner. Prior to joining HDC, she was a Senior Associate at law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.




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