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Public Hospital Medical Credentialling Reviewed

The Health Funding Authority (HFA) is reviewing the systems public hospitals use to ensure that their medical staff have the correct qualifications and experience to do the job they are employed for. This project, to be completed by November, will look at the processes public hospitals use to employ medical practitioners and allocate responsibilities (credentialling) and the review process used (recredentialling).

A project team based at the University of Auckland School of Medicine is undertaking the work. The project steering group includes specialist medical opinion representing national interests.

HFA Personal Health spokeswoman Gillian Bohm said the project would not look at issues of medical education and competence, which were managed by the professional bodies such as the Medical Council and specialist vocational colleges.

"Rather it looks at systems in place to support doctors in their work so that the hospital and the HFA can be assured that quality systems exist at an organisational level."

"Some public hospitals have well-developed systems, and the HFA believes there is considerable potential to share these ideas with other organisations," Ms Bohm said.

An important part of this project is to look at ways in which the credentialling process impacts on public confidence. A number of health consumer groups will be involved during the course of the study. Ms Bohm said this project complemented work being done by the medical profession and was welcomed by doctors who saw it as having advantages for medical practitioners and their patients.

The HFA will use the recommendations to assist public hospitals and the medical profession to develop medical credentialling in New Zealand.

Ends

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