An article by Robertson, Clark & Davoren (ABC news) suggests that the Health Care Complaints Commission (NSW) has said that it does not have the power to investigate complaints about medical practitioners providing reports, in the context of Family Court proceedings.
The article states:
In the case of the Sydney psychiatrist, up to a dozen parents made complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), accusing him of “placing the public at risk” with his Family Court reports.
In August last year HCCC commissioner Sue Dawson wrote to one of the parents stating the psychiatrist “did not have judicial immunity” and an investigation would be conducted. But in a letter to one of the parents in April, the New South Wales medical watchdog changed its position and said it “did not have the power” to investigate. ” … HCCC executive director Tony Kofkin said.
“Whilst I am unable to provide you a copy of this advice, it is clear and definitive in its conclusion that the commission does not have the power … to investigate a complaint about the conduct of an expert witness. This includes even if a complaint were to be referred to the commission by a court.”
A HCCC spokesman said this was “because the delivery of advice to the court is not considered to be within the definition of a health service”. He said the watchdog had raised the issue of its “jurisdictional constraints” with the ALRC.
The Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (NSW) at section 7 identifies matters about which complaints may be made.
The HCCC NSW does not appear to have published a media release on its website regarding this issue.