This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These regulations, which come into force on 1 May 2014, amend the Health Entitlement Cards Regulations 1993 (the principal regulations).
The purpose of these regulations is to enable suitably qualified health practitioners to make claims, in their own right, to the Ministry of Health for providing general medical services to patients. At present, claims have to be made through a medical practitioner. Necessary consequential changes to the principal regulations are also made.
Regulation 4 amends regulation 2 of the principal regulations, which defines terms used in those regulations.
Subclause (1) inserts definitions of health practitioner, general medical practice, and primary health organisation. A health practitioner is a person who is—
registered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 with the relevant authority; and
working within the scope of his or her practice; and
providing general medical services; and
employed by, or contracted to, a general medical practice either directly or through a primary health organisation.
Subclause (2) replaces the definition of medical practitioner to align it with the definition of health practitioner and to include practitioners who do not have contracts with their local primary health organisation. Such practitioners are covered by section 88 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.
Regulation 5 amends regulation 17 of the principal regulations, which defines terms used in Part 2 of those regulations (which relates to high use health cards).
Subclause (1) replaces the definition of general medical services with a less prescriptive definition that covers all proper and necessary services of medical practitioners and other health practitioners to maintain and restore health that are funded under section 25 or 88 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.
Subclause (2) revokes the definition of general practitioner, which is no longer needed in light of the new definition of medical practitioner.
Subclause (3) inserts a definition of pharmacist, which is aligned with the new definition of health practitioner in regulation 2 and applies only for the purpose of Part 2 of the principal regulations.
Subclause (4) amends the definition of qualifying medical services to replace the reference to general practitioner with medical practitioner and to include services provided by health practitioners other than medical practitioners.
Regulation 6 replaces a reference in regulation 20 to general practitioners with a reference to medical practitioners.
Regulation 7 amends regulation 20A of the principal regulations, which relates to the authorised uses of high use health cards, to include services provided by health practitioners who are not general practitioners. This amendment will enable such health practitioners to claim for qualifying medical services provided to a card holder.