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Wrong Organisation To Consider Overseas Doctors

FRIDAY 19 JANUARY 2001

“Commerce Commission Wrong Organisation To Consider Overseas Doctors”

“The Commerce Commission is the wrong organisation to consider complaints by overseas doctors against the Medical Council’s registration process and decisions,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the complaint lodged by a Ukrainian surgeon against the Medical Council’s decision not to immediately register him as a specialist.

“The Commerce Commission is required to consider cases of actual and theoretical anti-competitive economic behaviour. But the Medical Council as another statutory authority is required to consider cases on the basis of quality, standards of care and patient safety. Their functions are quite different. It is like trying to push an ideological square into a pragmatic round hole or making a horse run on the wrong course.”

“The Medical Council has an extremely difficult job because countries have such different health and training systems often linked to the immediate needs of their own peoples. For example less developed countries put more emphasis on general than specialist training compared with more developed countries such as New Zealand.”

“The Medical Council has already been investigated and cleared by the Human Rights Commission over this issue. Trying to use the Commerce Commission is using an alien ideology that risks threatening standards of care for patients,” concluded Mr Powell.


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