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Medical Council And District Health Boards Sign MOU

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Medical Council And District Health Boards Sign MOU

Wellington, Aug 18 NZPA - Regulation of doctors should become clearer after the Medical Council and New Zealand's 20 district health boards (DHBs) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The document signed by Don Mackie, chair of the DHB chief medical officer group, and Philip Pigou, the Medical Council's chief executive, enables DHBs and the council to work collaboratively together, clarifying their respective roles and responsibilities on the regulation of doctors.

Mr Pigou said the signing of the MoU recognised the need for clinical governance and leadership between DHBs, the council and clinicians.

"The MoU will help achieve our joint objective of ensuring the competence and quality of our medical workforce. It will also in turn benefit patients by contributing to quality and safety in our health system," Mr Pigou said.

"It also recognises that DHBs and employers have responsibility to provide health and disability services and the council has a responsibility to ensure the competence and fitness to practice of doctors."

The MoU outlines several new joint initiatives between the council and DHBs including the development of processes for international medical graduates to assist with their orientation and induction into the New Zealand health system.

A planned online portal will offer information and links on cultural issues, how the New Zealand health system works, as well as immigration and other support services.

Dr Mackie said because the roles and responsibilities were clearly set out both time and money will be saved.

"There are now very clear expectations about the registration, reference checking and sharing of any information or concerns we might have about a particular doctor with the Medical Council."

Issues of competence and conduct are also addressed by the MoU.

"The notification process by DHBs (or other employers) to the council of concerns about a doctor's competence is another step in safeguarding public health and safety, as is the exchange of information by (the) council to DHBs about competence and conduct processes," Mr Pigou said.

It also provides clear processes for sharing information about doctors who are not DHB employees but may pose a risk to public health and safety.

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