To practise, doctors must be registered. Registration means the doctor is trained to standards set and monitored by theThe Medical Council of New Zealand. The medical register is available from the website above. It includes doctors’ names, qualifications, details of when they were registered and any restrictions on the doctor to practise. Doctors update their education regularly, with annual checks by the Medical Council. Complaints about doctors should be made to the Health and Disability Commissioner, P O Box 1791, Auckland, Freephone 0800 11 22 33, Fax 09 373 1061, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hdc.org.nz
If you are concerned about a doctor’s competence, you may be considering whether to refer him or her to the Council, so it can decide whether an assessment of that doctor’s performance is required.
The information supplied in this section is intended as a guide only .
If you have any questions, or if you are not sure whether to refer a doctor to the Council, please do not hesitate to contact a Performance staff member on 0800 286 801.
Council considerations Each case is different, but when deciding whether a doctor is required to undergo a performance assessment, the Council will usually consider the following:
Is a pattern of conduct emerging that may indicate wider competence issues?
Was a particular incident a serious departure from accepted standards?
Has the doctor since put in place systems or undertaken education to prevent a similar occurrence in the future?
Was there a distracter* in the doctor’s life at the time of the incident.
*A distracter may include health, financial or personal issues, leading to increased stress, and impacting on the doctor’s ability to perform at his or her usual standard.
If there appears to have been a distracter, Council will consider:
whether this still exists, and
if a referral to its Health Committee is necessary.
About the performance process The performance process is intended to be educational, not disciplinary.
In undertaking an assessment of a doctor’s performance, the Council aims to determine whether there are any deficiencies in the doctor’s practice, and if so, to assist him or her to up-skill in those areas of deficiency.
For the best educational outcome, it is important that the doctor is involved throughout this process. For this reason, you should be prepared for the Council to forward any information you provide to the doctor for comment.
Note: The Council must disclose to the doctor all information it holds relevant to the doctor’s competence.