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Safety of New Zealanders under threat: nurses say “no”

The Act protecting the safety of New Zealanders under threat: nurses say “no”!

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is concerned that the Government is undertaking a sweeping review of the Act that regulates health professionals in New Zealand. The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) sets in place independent Councils for the sole purpose of protecting the public from poor practice or conduct of health professionals.

Under the Act, Councils are required to set standards for education, monitor and approve education programmes, register health practitioners, assess ongoing competence and investigate complaints of conduct and health conditions which may impact on practice. The Act has been extensively reviewed in the last few years and found to be functional, flexible and working well.

NZNO professional services manager, Susanne Trim wonders why, when the Act is functioning well, the Government seems determined to reduce regulation and remove the protections it provides to New Zealanders, “The HPCAA ensures we all have access to a regulated, professional, competent and safe health workforce.”

“The Government’s proposed changes to the Act seem to be ideologically driven. They will place decisions on the requirements for health practitioners in the hands of politicians and employers. If these changes happen our health service will be at the whim of political agendas and public safety will be at risk.”

“Nurses believe the review is unnecessary. The Act is working well. We urge the Government to spend its limited health budget on policies and programmes that will improve the health of New Zealanders and leave the Act alone,” Susanne Trim says.

NZNO’s submission to the Ministry of Health on the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act can be found here:

New Zealand Nurses Organisation
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is the leading professional body of nurses and nursing union in Aotearoa New Zealand, representing over 45 000 nurses and health workers. Te Runanga o Aotearoa is the arm through which our Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is articulated. Our members include nurses, midwives, students, kaimahi hauora, health care workers and allied health professionals.
The NZNO vision is “Freed to care, Proud to nurse”. Our members enhance the health and wellbeing of all people of Aotearoa New Zealand and are united in their professional and industrial aspirations.

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