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This subject will examine patients’ expectations and legal rights when receiving health care, their avenues for complaint and compensation, transparency and accountability in the health sector, and the regulation of health practitioners. The focus will be on patients and health practitioners in Australia and New Zealand.
Principal topics include:
- Patient safety and healthcare quality
- Patients’ needs and rights following an adverse event
- Open disclosure and the duty of candour
- Transparency and accountability in the health sector
- The role of inquiries
- Legal duties of clinicians, managers and boards
- Health practitioner regulation (including the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Scheme)
- Health complaint systems in Australia and New Zealand.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the significance of patient safety as a health policy issue
- Be aware of the needs of patients following an adverse event
- Have critically examined the meaning of ‘open disclosure’, what it means and why it matters; and be able to provide a detailed critique of the concept and its practical operation.
- Be a well informed and engaged participant in debate regarding barriers to patient safety, including medical litigation
- Have a detailed understanding of the legal responsibilities of clinicians, managers and boards
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the regulation of health professionals in Australia and New Zealand
- Have an advanced understanding of the use of regulatory levers to improve patient safety
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of health complaint systems in Australia and New Zealand
- Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of patients’ rights and public protection.
Last updated: 31 January 2024