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New authorities come into force under HPCA Act '03

18 December 2003 Media Statement

New authorities come into force under HPCA Act 2003

Health Minister Annette King has announced membership of four new health authorities being established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Ms King said the new Dental Council, Midwifery Council, Pharmacy Council and Osteopathic Council all officially began today under the HPCA. The Act, passed in September, provides a framework for regulating health practitioners to protect the public where there is a risk of harm from the practice of a profession.

"The new authorities - made up of health professionals and lay members - will play a key role in ensuring public health and safety is protected," says Ms King.

The Dental Council covers for the first time under one authority dental technicians, therapists, hygienists, and dentists.

That council and the Pharmacy Council will operate in tandem with the existing Dental Council and Pharmaceutical Society respectively for nine months. The two new councils have the sole role of preparing the ground (primarily scopes of practice) for September 2004, when they take over responsibility for regulating dental practitioners and pharmacists.

The new Midwifery and Osteopathic Councils will for the first time regulate these two professions as stand-alone authorities, and will have a similar role in the first nine months of developing scopes of practice.

The four authorities will recognise, accredit and set programmes to ensure ongoing competence of health practitioners, and will also consider applications for annual practising certificates from September 2004. All four are now consulting with members of their professions over their scopes of practice.

Members appointed by Ms King to the four authorities are:

Midwifery Council: Sharon Cole and Rea Daellenbach as lay members. HopeTupara; Mina Timutimu; Susan Bree; Thelma Thompson; Sally Pairman; and Helen-Mary Walker as health practitioners.

Dental Council: Riria Handscomb; Victoria Hinson and John Robertson as lay members. Ed Alcock; Albert Kewene; Vicki Kershaw; Robyn Watson; Mary Livingston; Brent Stanley; Erin Collins; Trish Simpson; Keith Pine; Daniel O'Sullivan; and Robert Love as health practitioners.

Pharmacy Council: Judith Johnston and Darren Russell as lay members. John Shaw; Andrea Shirtcliffe; Eleanor Hawthorne; Robert Fleming; Carolyn Oakley-Brown and Brian Irvine as health practitioners.

Osteopathic Council: Jean Drage and Justin Heke as lay members. Alison Couldrey; Alex Jones; Bruce Harper; Dennis Stewart; Paul Hume; and Deepa Ranchod as health practitioners.

For more information on the HPCA, go to www.moh.govt.nz/hpca

ENDS

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