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Parliament About To Make Unfortunate Precedent

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
MONDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2003

Parliament About To Make Unfortunate Health Precedent

“Parliament is about to make an unfortunate precedent,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on the controversial Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill that is likely to complete its committee stage and perhaps Third Reading this week.

“The Government is almost certain to get its way and get its controversial Bill passed. If so this will be the first time for a very long time, if ever, that legislation covering the registration and competence standards of the medical profession has been passed against the advice, and despite the express opposition, of the medical profession. Both the previous 1968 and 1995 Acts had a high degree of consensus support from the medical profession.”

“The Bill in various ways increases the degree of political and bureaucratic control and interference in the registration and standards of medical practitioners at the expense of professionalism.”

“Legislation that is about the protection of the health and safety of the public should be robust enough to earn the support of experts in the field. It is short-sighted lawmaking that ignores their advice. Ironically much of the controversy could have been avoided if the Government had accepted some practical amendments consistent with the intent of the Bill.”

“The Bill will become law because Labour, United Future and to an extent the Greens have determined to make it so and disregard the medical profession. This will not be forgotten,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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