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Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill

11 June 2002

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill introduced

Health Minister Annette King says setting up a one-stop-shop for health service complaints is one benefit provided by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill, introduced to Parliament today.

“We made a commitment in Labour’s manifesto to complete a review of procedures for monitoring the safety of people when they are receiving services from health practitioners.

“We have now done so, and I am very pleased to introduce the Bill because it means we are well on the way to providing good mechanisms that will assure the public that health practitioners are competent and fit to practice.”

Ms King said the Bill repealed 11 occupational registration statutes and provided for new registration authorities to certify that a practitioner is qualified and competent to practice within a particular scope, specifying conditions if need be.

“Health professionals view the Bill positively because it provides a life-long competency regime.

“The Bill will also streamline the complaints process for consumers who are unhappy with a health service they have received. The Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 will be amended to provide more flexible and coordinated processes for handling complaints about health practitioners from consumers. There will be a single disciplinary tribunal for all practitioners, separate from the regulatory authorities,” Ms King said.

A further legislative change would be made to enhance public safety though amendments to the Medicines Act 1981. The change will require a pharmacy operator to hold a licence. The person must be a pharmacist who has at least a 51 percent interest in the business, and have sufficient knowledge of medicine hazards and record taking.


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