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Medical misadventure submissions summary released

3 September 2003 Media Statement

Medical misadventure submissions summary released

A summary of consultation submissions on medical misadventure released today provides sound guidance for reform of the scheme's provisions, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson says.

A total of 184 submissions were received from individuals, health professionals, health service organisations, advocacy groups, and legal, government and tertiary organisations on the Medical Misadventure Consultation Document that was released in May.

"The current provisions are preferable to seeking remedies through the courts. However, analysis of the submissions shows strong support for changing rules which too often appear arbitrary and unfair. I intend to see that the provisions become fairer and more consistent," Ms Dyson said.

Around 89 per cent of submissions supported significant change to the medical misadventure provisions. Of these, 60 per cent favoured option 3 in the consultation document, which would base cover on ‘unintended injury’.

"This approach aligns cover more closely to the no-fault principles of the rest of the ACC scheme and is not dependent on finding fault with the actions of a health professional. Because cover does not depend on a finding of fault, the claims process could be much quicker," Ruth Dyson said.

Option 2, the second most favoured option, was first choice for around 29 per cent of those making submissions. It would also do away with a requirement to find fault and would provide cover for preventable injuries.

“I congratulate the officials for their work and thank all the contributors to this document. It provides a sound basis for future policy decisions,” Ms Dyson said.

Options 2 and 3 are now being further developed, based on practical feedback from the consultation process. Decisions are expected later in the year.

The consultation summary can be downloaded from http://www.acc.co.nz/for-providers/news-for-providers/review-of-acc-medical-misadventure---consultation/

Scroll down to ‘Summary of ACC Medical Misadventure Consultation’.

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