Medical Council News - August 2020


Tēnā koutou e ngā rata, e ngā tāngata o te motu,

Nau mai ki tēnei pūrongo i te Kaunihera Rata ō Aotearoa – welcome to this edition of the Medical Council news.

As this newsletter was being finalised, our nation has just learned of the new cases of COVID-19 in the community and the need to re-enter higher levels of lockdown. We have had two new Council members appointed and also in this newsletter are the outcome of two Health Practitioner Disciplinary Tribunal (Tribunal) decisions, which we are required to publish in accordance with the Tribunal’s orders.

COVID-19 pandemic

It has been a very unusual year so far and with the community transmission of COVID-19 announced this week, it appears this is far from over. Nonetheless, our country and the medical profession have been in this situation before and succeeded, and we will do so again.

I would like to make mention of the resilience, commitment and compassion (for patients and each other) that the medical workforce has shown throughout the pandemic.

Recently, I was fortunate to hear first-hand from prevocational educational supervisors and clinical directors of training about the challenges faced at the front line of health care, but also, pleasingly, the many opportunities the pandemic provided for learning and flexibly meeting the needs of our populations. It was great to hear how interns, registrars, and senior doctors rose to the wero, and were able to use this time for upskilling and development – both in their own practice and for the health services they provide.

Council put in place a number of measures to support doctors during this time, such as the pandemic scope of practice, deferring recertification requirements, and supporting flexibility in training. You can find all of the information on these on our website.

It is notable that here in Aotearoa New Zealand we led the world in terms of the speed and success of our response in the health sector and a number of our international regulatory counterparts have been highly complementary of our agile approach. This is a credit to the medical profession.

In this issue:

  • COVID-19 -Extension of COVID-19 Pandemic scope of practice
  • New Council member appointments - Drs Rachelle Love and Kenneth Clark
  • Farewell to two Council members - Professor John Nacey and Dr Paul Hutchison
  • Tribunal decision - doctor found guilty of professional misconduct for leaving patient medical records in unlocked car
  • Tribunal decision - Patients' medical records must include reference to prescribing of controlled drugs

Please click on the link below to read the newsletter:

Medical Council News - August 2020

Noho ora mai

Dr Curtis Walker
Medical Council of New Zealand