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Practitioners back Doctors call for exclusion

Attention: The Editor

Press Release
HPCA Bill Follow up article

Health Practitioners back Doctors call for exclusion

The New Zealand Charter of Health Practitioners extends full support to the New Zealand Medical Association, the Association of Medical Specialists and ACT MP Heather Roy's amendment to have Doctors removed from coverage of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill.

The second reading of the Bill is due to be placed before Parliament this week.

The Bill in its present form could become a legal minefield, with a number of key provisions that are either not listed or are not clearly defined under interpretations.

The un-amended Bill will create a State controlled medical monopoly and seriously restrict the New Zealand publics "Freedom of Choice" in aspects of healthcare.

The Charter requested that the Select Health Committee either write into the Bill or specifically exclude from the Bill the modalities that qualified practitioners practice - even NZQA approved modalities.

The select Committee has side-stepped this question by not taking any action on this submission.

Safety Issue?

The Bill would possibly not provide improved safety for the public than that which is already available at the present time under the Charter's disciplinary procedures. The Bill's disciplinary measures will however, provide very lucrative rewards for the legal profession.

It is not clear as to how this Bill will affect qualified Charter Health Practitioners.

The Minister and her department have been helpful in providing a legal opinion. However, even at this late date, the Charter is asking the Minister for a further determination of an actual situation that could affect a number of its members and is awaiting a reply before the second reading of the Bill.

In recent years New Zealand has been far to ready to embrace overseas concepts that have failed in their country of origin rather than designing legislation specifically for New Zealand Conditions.

Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery; however with a more innovative attitude New Zealand could lead the world with responsible and workable legislation.

Patrick F. Fahy.

The New Zealand Charter of Health Practitioners

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