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Another Nail In The Coffin Of Quality Healthcare

Another Nail In The Coffin Of Quality Healthcare

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today expressed disappointment at the defeat of her motion to exclude doctors from the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill, saying the Bill would create more problems in an already flawed health system.

"The Government claims that the HPCA Bill will protect the public but it will not. The Bill is clumsy, bureaucratic and laden with scope for political interference - it will work against professionalism, rather than encourage it," Mrs Roy said.

"Doctors have already stated that they wish to be exempted from this Bill, believing that the existing Medical Practitioners Act can provide better protection for both the public and health professionals. This view is shared by the New Zealand Medical Association and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists.

"Their calls have fallen on deaf Government ears. It matters not to Labour that the MPA already deals with modern practice and protects patients, or that the HPCA Bill's original aim - to relate the MPA to professions such as nursing, dentistry and physiotherapy, rather than just doctors - is now gone. The huge, mutated HPCA Bill will now repeal 11 current Acts.

"The defeat of this motion is just another blow to doctors who, like many other health professionals, have had their concerns ignored by Health Minister Annette King. Already left with no other option but retreat, doctors will now be pulled under the cumbersome umbrella of the HPCA Bill.

"If passed, the HPCA Bill will likely remain law for decades. We already have an effective, up-to-date Act that protects both medical practitioners and patients. It is completely unacceptable that we may now have a flawed piece of legislation that will compromise and erode patient safety," Mrs Roy said.

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