News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Complaints System Has Improved - NZMA

The system for dealing with complaints against medical practitioners has improved over the last few years, and there is no evidence that complaints are not being handled appropriately, says New Zealand Medical Association Chairman Dr John Adams. But, in the interests of both patients and doctors, it is important that complaints are dealt with fully and quickly.

He was responding to a report by David Collins QC that few cases were now being referred to the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

That report has not been made public, but the NZMA understands that Dr Collins' general comments on the medico-legal system were based on his investigation into one complaint only. That complaint is five years old, and many changes have been made to the complaints system since then.

"Doctors do not knowingly make mistakes," Dr Adams said, "Much more emphasis is now placed on educating doctors to improve their practice.

"Also, the Health and Disability Commissioner, who now receives complaints from consumers, emphasises complaints being resolved at a lower level and more quickly (instead of taking years). This works well for both consumers and doctors, without the expense of having lawyers involved.

"Doctors in New Zealand are already facing difficult working conditions. Many are choosing to leave this country to work overseas. Rather than a 'blame and shame' culture, it is more important to have a supportive environment, where all health professionals can discuss mistakes and learn how to improve.

Dr Adams said there were a number of reasons why the volume of complaints had increased over the past couple of years. One is because a handful of high profile cases means there is more public awareness of the system.

"To ensure natural justice, each complaint needs to be carefully investigated. It is not possible to predict, based purely on the volume of complaints, how many should be forwarded for disciplinary action," Dr Adams said.

In a July media release, Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson said: "Despite the increasing volume of complaints, there is no evidence that the quality of health care in New Zealand has deteriorated. People are simply more willing to complain."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>


Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland