Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Amendment Bill

  • enacted
30 New sections 157A to 157I inserted

After section 157, insert:

157A Meaning of naming policy

In sections 157B to 157I, naming policy means a policy issued by an authority relating to the naming of a health practitioner in a notice published by the authority under section 157(1).

157B Authorities to issue naming policies

(1)

Each authority must issue a naming policy not later than 12 months after this section comes into force.

(2)

The purpose of the naming policy is to—

(a)

enhance public confidence in the health professions for which the authority is responsible and their disciplinary procedures by providing transparency about their decision-making processes; and

(b)

ensure that health practitioners whose conduct has not met expected standards may be named where it is in the public interest to do so; and

(c)

improve the safety and quality of health care.

(3)

A naming policy must set out—

(a)

the class or classes of health practitioners in respect of whom the naming policy applies; and

(b)

the circumstances in which a health practitioner may be named; and

(c)

the general principles that will guide the authority’s naming decisions; and

(d)

the criteria that the authority must apply when making a naming decision; and

(e)

the requirement to have regard to the consequences for the health practitioner of being named, including the likely harm to the health practitioner’s reputation; and

(f)

the procedures that the authority must follow when making a naming decision; and

(g)

the information the authority may disclose when naming a health practitioner; and

(h)

the means by which a health practitioner may be named.

157C Consultation on naming policies

Before issuing its naming policy, an authority must consult, and take into account any comments received from, the following persons:

(a)

the health practitioners registered with the authority; and

(b)

the Privacy Commissioner; and

(c)

the Director-General of Health; and

(d)

the Health and Disability Commissioner.

157D Naming policies to be available on Internet

Immediately after issuing a naming policy, an authority must make its naming policy available on an Internet site maintained by or on behalf of the authority.

157E When naming policies come into force

A naming policy comes into force on the day after the date on which it is issued.

157F Review of naming policies

(1)

An authority must review its naming policy within 3 years after the policy comes into force, and then at intervals of not more than 3 years.

(2)

Sections 157B to 157E apply with all necessary modifications to the review of a naming policy.

157G Naming policies to be consistent with law

A naming policy must be consistent with—

(a)

this Act; and

(b)

the information privacy principles in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1993; and

(c)

the general law (including natural justice rights).

157H Status of naming policies

A naming policy is—

(a)

not—

(i)

a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2012; or

(ii)

a disallowable instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2012; and

(b)

not required to be presented to the House of Representatives under section 41 of the Legislation Act 2012.

157I Authority naming health practitioner in accordance with naming policy protected by qualified privilege

For the purposes of clause 3 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Defamation Act 1992, any notice published by an authority under section 157(1) that names a health practitioner in accordance with a naming policy issued by the authority must be treated as an official report made by a person holding an inquiry under the authority of the Parliament of New Zealand.