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

 

2021: NZ To Host Women’s Rugby World Cup

New Zealand’s successful bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will raise the profile of the game locally and provide a valuable economic boost for the game, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke Review: Mahler 7 - NZSO

Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony may be one of the least well-known of its ilk, but Edo de Waart and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra made a compelling case for a reassessment. They showed us a work of immense variety, surprising contrast and delicate shades of light and dark. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Strange Overtones - David Byrne's American Utopia Tour

Scotch-born singer-songwriter David Byrne starts each show on his latest world tour stroking a pink brain as he sits alone at a table in a gray three-button Kenzo suit singing a song called Here from his latest album American Utopia. More>>

Governor-General's Speech: Armistice Day 100 Years On

The response was more muted amongst our soldiers at the Front. Many received the news quietly... There was no cheering. The chaps didn’t get excited. It was just a matter of relief. We didn’t celebrate at all. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Fringe Programme: A Celebration Of The Bizarre And Beautiful

Building on a huge 2018 programme that saw 492 creatives take 81 events for ventures around the city for a total of 347 performances, Auckland Fringe returns this summer, running February 19 – March 3, 2019. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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