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Doctor Registration Changes Good But Only A Start

Doctor Registration Changes Good But Only A Start - ACT

ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesman Ken Shirley is pleased that the Medical Council has finally bowed to public pressure and removed some of the red tape preventing competent overseas trained doctors from practicing in New Zealand.

“My Private Members Bill addressing the problems facing these doctors was introduced to Parliament earlier this year. The Bill has now been referred to Parliament’s Health Select Committee and submissions are invited by the 31st March 2001.

“I am very pleased that the issues surrounding overseas trained doctors registration are to be examined thoroughly. The Medical Council is a statutory body with powers conferred by Parliament. Parliament therefore has the duty to ensure that those powers are exercised appropriately.

“The Medical Council was very critical of my Bill claiming that there was no registration problems or issues to address. So while I welcome the Medical Council’s recent moves, they do suggest that there is much more to be done to facilitate the registration of appropriately qualified and experienced overseas doctors.

“It is clear to me that the Medical Council has engaged in undue process and excessive delays when considering applications by foreign trained doctors to practice here.

“I am not interested in lowering standards of clinical safety, but excessive red tape and bureaucratic delay cannot be tolerated when the country is facing serious shortages of medical professionals” concluded Ken Shirley.


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