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Doctors Want Out

Doctors Want Out

Monday 21 Jul 2003 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today moved that amendments be made to have doctors removed from the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill, and said that the existing Medical Practitioners Act will provide better protection for both the medical practitioner and the public.

"Both the New Zealand Medical Association and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists believe that the current Medical Practitioners Act serves both the public and themselves better," Mrs Roy said.

"Doctors have been expressing their concern with this Bill for some time, and have publicly stated that they want to be excluded from it. The MPA is effective, dealing well with modern practice and protecting patients.

"The new HPCA Bill is clumsy, bureaucratic and laden with scope for political interference. The Government claims that the Bill aims to protect the public - but, in reality, it will not encourage professionalism, it will work against it

"Originally, the HPCA Bill aimed to take the MPA and relate it to other professions - such as nurses, dentists and physiotherapists - which already have their own legislation, not just doctors. Now, however, any positive parallels between the HPCA Bill and the MPA have disappeared. The huge HPCA Bill will repeal 11 current Acts.

"Health Minister Annette King has had ample opportunity to address the common concerns of doctors and other health professionals, but has instead chosen to ignore them. Despite making their concerns known to the Minister, doctors have gained no ground, and now have no other option than to retreat.

"If passed, the HPCA Bill is expected to remain the law for decades. This is too long to have bad legislation in place, when doctors already have an effective, up-to-date Act that protects both the public, and health practitioners well," Mrs Roy said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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