Health regulator, Vic Police to share info

Health practitioners accused of sexual exploitation or drug offences could be reported to Victoria Police by their industry regulator, under a new agreement between the two organisations.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and police have reached a first-of-its-kind memorandum of understanding, which creates procedures for timely and appropriate information-sharing when either agency discovers certain information during investigations.

The agency will be able to pass on details of suspected crimes including physical harm, sexual offending, production of exploitative material and drug offences.

Police will be able to share information if someone poses a risk of substantial harm to the public or is pretending to be a health practitioner.

This comes after a report into the use of chaperones to protect patients found that when there are allegations of indecent or sexual assault, there needed to be greater clarity around whether the agency contacts police or relies on the complainant to do so.