Updates Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act the Act provides a framework for the regulation of health practitioners in order to protect the public where there is a risk of harm from professional practice. Having one legislative framework allows for consistent procedures and terminology across the professions now regulated by the Act. The principal purpose of protecting the health and safety of the public is emphasised and the Act includes mechanisms to ensure that practitioners are competent and fit to practise their professions for the duration of their professional lives. The Act was passed by Parliament on 11 September and received the Royal assent on 18 September

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The Act sets out the rules for the way practitioners are registered, the process for complaints and how professional competence is maintained and assessed. The Act includes ways to make sure health practitioners are competent and fit to practice their professions for the duration of their professional lives.

Having one Act for the regulation of health professionals means there are consistent procedures and terminology across all those professions. Examples of other health practitioners currently covered by this Act include doctors, nurses, midwives, chiropractors, dentists, dental hygienists, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists and many others.

In total 21 health professional groups are regulated under the Act. Structures and Administration enables additional health professions to be designated under the Act and Responsible Authorities to be appointed for additional professions sets out the functions of authorities.

These include: prescribing the qualifications required for scopes of practice authorising the registration of health practitioners reviewing and maintaining the competence of health practitioners setting standards of clinical competence, cultural competence, and ethical conduct setting programmes to ensure the ongoing competence of health practitioners provides for the membership of Responsible Authorities confers certain powers on the Minister in relation to Responsible Authorities requires Responsible Authorities to maintain public registers of health practitioners.

Miscellaneous Provisions, Consequential Amendments and Repeals, and Transitional Provisions Restrictive activities The Minister of Health can, under section 9 of the HPCA Act, restrict certain activities to registered health practitioners when, after consultation, the Minister is satisfied that there is a risk of serious or permanent harm from the activity. The current list of restricted activities was consulted on and agreed in The activities are: Surgical or operative procedures below the gingival margin or the surface of the skin, mucous membranes or teeth.

Clinical procedures involved in the insertion and maintenance of fixed and removable orthodontic or oral and maxillofacial prosthetic appliances. Prescribing of enteral or parenteral nutrition where the feed is administered through a tube into the gut or central venous catheter. Prescribing of an ophthalmic appliance, optical appliance or ophthalmic medical device intended for remedial or cosmetic purposes or for the correction of a defect of sight. Performing a psychosocial intervention with an expectation of treating a serious mental illness without the approval of a registered health practitioner.

A review of the Act is proposing deletion of this task Applying high velocity, low amplitude manipulative techniques to cervical spinal joints.


About the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

Midwifery Council of New Zealand A separate Midwifery Council was established on 18 December, , and will come into full effect on 14 September Work during this interim year will entail establishing premises and systems for the new Council processes and managing full separation from the Nursing Council of New Zealand. The role of the Council covers standards, education, scope of practise and competency. Disciplinary processes will be managed through the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and heard by a separate Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. Midwifery Council members are listed on the Ministry of Health website www. The Council has six midwives and two lay people appointed by the Minister. The Midwifery Council will have the same role and functions under the Act as the Nursing Council has for nurses.


Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

Its purpose is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing mechanisms to ensure the life long competence of health practitioners. The Act builds on the framework created by earlier legislation, in particular the Medical Practitioners Act All the major concepts of the Medical Practitioners Act have been carried forward into the Act, adjusted where necessary to generic terms to provide a framework that can apply to all health practitioners not just doctors. The Act incorporates the basic principles of ongoing competence and the separation of the registration process from the disciplinary process. Important key protections are in place, with provisions to ensure that: only health practitioners who are registered under the Act are able to use the titles protected by the Act or claim to be practising a profession that is regulated by the Act registered health practitioners are not permitted to practise outside their scopes of practice regulatory authorities are required to certify that a practitioner is competent to practise in their scope of practice when they issue an annual practising certificate certain activities are restricted and can only be performed by registered health practitioners as specified in the Act.

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