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Health Practitioners Bill passes 3rd reading

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health

1 November 2016
Media Statement

Health Practitioners Bill passes 3rd reading

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes the passing of legislation which enables a wider range of appropriate health practitioners to undertake certain functions currently restricted to medical practitioners.

“This legislation will help to ensure that we can make the best use of the skills of our health workforce,” says Dr Coleman.

“Many health practitioners will now be able to perform tasks that were previously the sole domain of medical practitioners. As a result, more patients will be able to receive more timely convenient care closer to home.

“For example, nurse practitioners providing care for a patient who dies will now be able to certify the cause of death.

“This change is especially important in rural areas and aged care services and will help prevent unnecessary delays for families.

“The legislation also allows nurse practitioners, specialist registered nurse prescribers and pharmacist prescribers working in addiction services to prescribe controlled drugs to treat addiction.

“Also, currently only a doctor can sign your medical certificate for sick leave, in future the practice nurse or physiotherapist will be able to do this.”

The Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today.

It amends eight Acts replacing references to medical practitioner with health practitioner.

Further information can be found at: www.health.govt.nz

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