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Turner: Stop protecting negligent professionals

Turner: Stop protecting negligent professionals

Professional medical bodies need to stop protecting the identities of negligent doctors, nurses and midwives at the expense of the public, United Future’s Judy Turner said today.

The case of an unnamed former Hawke’s Bay midwife, now working in Wellington, who the Nursing Council has found guilty of a misconduct charge involving the death of a baby, was just one of a regular stream where the public are left none the wiser, she said.

“These bodies will get more public respect when they start showing the public more respect and stop paying lip service to the public’s right to know and make fully informed choices when seeking medical help,” Mrs Turner, United Future’s health spokeswoman, said.

“A doctor, nurse or midwife’s right to privacy in these matters is secondary to the right of the average person to make an informed choice on where they seek medical help.

“No one is asking for witch-hunts, but bodies such as the Medical Association and the Nursing Council have clearly yet to come to grips with the fact that there should be a hugely compelling reason why a negligent professional’s name should not be released.

“All the moreso, when that professional, by act or omission, has played a part in the loss of a life, or unnecessary serious injury or illness.

“And along with the fact that there is naming here, there is no indication whatsoever if this person is working today with any degree of supervision,” she said.

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