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Patient Safety Boost by Private Hospitals/Medical Council

7 March 2014

Patient Safety Boost with Private Hospitals/Medical Council Agreement

The high standard of patient safety already in place within New Zealand’s private hospitals will receive a further boost with the Memorandum of Understanding signed today between the Medical Council and the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association.

The MoU was signed by Greg Brooks, President of the NZPSHA and Philip Pigou – CEO of the Medical Council. It is modelled on the current MoU held between the DHBs and Medical Council but tailored for the private sector.

Mr Greg Brooks said today, ‘Our 36 member hospitals across the country have a proud safety record. But we are committed to continuing to raise the bar in this area. This agreement will further enhance through clear and open exchange of information about credentialed doctors between the two organisations.

’The MoU allows each participating private surgical hospital (PPSH) and Council to clearly define their roles with respect to management of any competence, performance, conduct or health issues.

Mr Brooks says the credentialing of doctors by each PPSHs is a win:win for patients.

‘Credentialling’, is a formal process used to verify not only the qualifications, experience, professional standing and other relevant professional attributes of the professional s concerned but also establishes scopes of practice and assessment/confirmation of facilities’ abilities to support the surgeons, anaesthetists and physicians activities. Its role also encompasses which healthcare services a doctor is competent to undertake.

Medical Council, Chief Executive Mr Philip Pigou said, ’PPSHs will undertake an annual checking process for reviewing the MCNZ online register to check that all credentialled doctors hold a current practising certificate and whether the doctor has any restrictions on practise.’

‘This also works the other way around with PPSHs letting the Council know of changes or restrictions placed on a doctor’s practice to address a risk of harm.

‘PPSH’s will also liaise closely with the Council when concerns about a credentialled doctor are identified. This will help to ensure that risk to public safety is minimised arising from the practice of that doctor.’

PPSHs have agreed to work collaboratively and share information with the Council (and other organisations such as the Ministry of Health and the Health and Disability Commissioner) where there is an agreed multi-agency response to public health and safety issues arising from a doctor’s practice and where legally permissible. This collaborative process is supported widely by senior doctors.

The MoU also covers health issues and enables the Council to notify the PPSHs CEO or nominee where there is:
• a risk of harm or risk of serious harm arising from the doctor’s practice
• a suspension;
• one or more conditions or other limitations placed on the doctor’s practice;
• a health agreement with the doctor;
• any significant monitoring requirements that have been established by the MCNZ.

Mr Brooks says ‘Where a PPSH is aware a doctor has a physical or mental health condition that may impair the doctor’s performance or behaviour, and where the credentialled status may be deemed to have lapsed, be modified, suspended or terminated, the PPSH will recommend self-disclosure by the doctor to the Council and PPSH will comply with legislative requirements. ‘

Download a copy of the MoU: MoU - MCNZ & NZPSA (March 2014, PDF, 305 KB)

For more information:
The New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association (NZPSHA) was established in 2005 to represent the interests of private surgical hospitals’ within New Zealand.

The Medical Council of New Zealand’s main purpose is to promote and protect public health and safety in New Zealand. We are governed by a Council and our funding comes from registration and practising fees paid by all practising doctors in New Zealand.


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