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Commissioner Reviews Act and Code

Commissioner Reviews Act and Code

The Health and Disability Commissioner, Ron Paterson, is currently reviewing the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 and the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

The Act has been in force since 1994 and the Code since 1996. The legislation requires the Commissioner to review the Act and Code, consider whether any changes are necessary or desirable, and report the findings to the Minister of Health.

The first review of the legislation was carried out by the inaugural Commissioner, Robyn Stent, in 1999. That review and the Cull Report on the Review of Processes Concerning Adverse Medical Events in 2001 have resulted in a number of changes to the Act as part of the 'Health Practitioners Competence Assurance' legislative reforms. The changes to the Act are effective from September 2004.

As part of the review, the Commissioner has published a consultation document which discusses the Act and Code and outlines the changes that are coming into effect in September. Copies of the consultation document are available from the Commissioner's office or can be downloaded from www.hdc.org.nz.

Members of the public are invited to read the consultation document and make submissions on any issues arising out of the operation of the Act and Code. A series of consultation meetings will take place in the main centres and some regional cities during March/April 2004. The final date for receipt of submissions is Friday, 30 April 2004.

"The Act has been in place for ten years now and the Code of Rights for eight years. This is the public's opportunity to consider how the Act and Code operate, what difference the forthcoming changes in September will make, and to contribute to the review," says Ron Paterson.

SCHEDULE OF CONSULTATION MEETINGS

| CITY |DATE | TIME | VENUE

| Rotorua | Monday, March 15 |10:30am ? 2:00pm |Redwood One Room Kingsgate Hotel Fenton Street

| Hamilton | Monday, March 15 | 4:30pm ? 6pm | Alexanders Room Le Grand Hotel 237 Victoria Street

| Wellington | Thursday, March 18 |10am ? 12pm | Ground Floor | Archives NZ 10 Mulgrave Street

| Auckland | Tuesday, March 30 | 2 ? 3.30 |Wesley Community Centre | 740 Sandringham Rd ext | Mt Roskill

| Christchurch| Thursday, April 1 | 6pm ? 7.30pm | Bealey 1 Room Holiday Inn Cnr Barbados St and Oxford | Terrace

| Dunedin | Friday, April 2 | 12pm ? 1.30pm | Chesters Lounge The Dunedin Centre 1 Harrop Street --------|

ENDS

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