In addition to our statements and guidelines, there are a number of other documents that may be of use to doctors and their employers.
- Cole’s medical practice in New Zealand
- Memoranda of Understanding
- Resources for employers
- Criminal proceedings against doctors
Cole’s provides doctors with an introduction to the main legislation, ethical standards and guidelines which govern medical practice in New Zealand.
Download Cole's medical practice in New Zealand (2017)
Download Copy of MOU between MCNZ and Southern Cross Hospitals (07 Dec 2012)
The guide to credentialling contained in the MOU, as Appendix 4, has been updated. In reading this MOU, please refer to the Southern Cross Hospitals Credentialling and Defining Scope of Practice Guide, issued May 2014 - download it here (04 June 2014)
Download Copy of MOU between MCNZ and NZPSHA (06 March 2014)
Download Orientation Topic Checklist (PDF, 462 KB)
The Medical Council is taking the opportunity to briefly describe the processes for considering the implications of criminal proceedings against registered doctors in New Zealand. If the Council receives concerns about a doctor it can refer those concerns to a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for investigation. If a doctor is convicted of an offence that carries a term of imprisonment of 3 months or longer, then under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act), the Council has a statutory requirement to refer the matter to a PCC.
The PCC is an independent body which is separate from the Council. The role of the PCC is to investigate referred concerns and make a determination or recommendation to the Council. The PCC can make a determination to submit the matter to conciliation, take no further action, or to lay a charge against the doctor before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal). The Council does not have the power to lay a charge against a doctor, this can only be done by a PCC (or the Director of Proceedings). The Council does not have the power to discipline a doctor through sanctions, this can only be done by the Tribunal.
In deciding whether to lay a charge the PCC must consider whether the evidence before it is sufficient to support the allegations made, and that those allegations are serious enough to amount to a ground of discipline under the Act.
However, the PCC’s role is not to make a finding on whether there are grounds of discipline. If the PCC decides to lay a charge before the Tribunal, it is up to the Tribunal to decide if the particulars of the charge are made out and whether the threshold for discipline is satisfied. The Tribunal may discipline a doctor if they have been convicted of an offence that reflects adversely on his or her fitness to practise. However, the Tribunal may only make this finding if the offence was punishable by imprisonment for a term of 3 months or longer (or the offence is against a specified list of Acts). The Tribunal’s enquiry is focused on a doctor’s fitness to practise, which is different from the standard applied in criminal matters.