For immediate release 8 December 2006
Medical Council of New Zealand review - Australasian Society of Breast Physicians
The Medical Council at its December meeting considered the results of the public consultation about its proposed notice
to change the specialist status or vocational scope of breast medicine.
All vocational scopes or medical specialities undergo accreditation to ensure standards of training and continuing
professional development are being met. The majority of those who responded supported the Council’s decision.
The Council has now confirmed its earlier decisions to change the vocational scope of breast medicine. In doing so
Council wishes to emphasise that breast physicians will not be prevented from working as breast physicians.
Dr Deborah Read, deputy chairperson of the Council said today, “This issue for Council was whether the Council’s
standards for registration in a vocational scope had been met. Council’s purpose under the Health Practitioners
Competence Assurance Act 2003 is to protect public health and safety.
There are a number of criteria that the Council applies to all vocational scopes or specialities.
These include criteria relating to a scope’s training and continuing professional development programmes. The
application from the Australasian Society of Breast Physicians did not fully meet these criteria.”
Ms Jean Hera public member of Council stressed, “Breast physicians can continue to provide their services. As there are
very few breast physicians currently registered in the vocational scope and as the same medical services are being
provided throughout New Zealand by doctors who are vocationally registered in other scopes of practice, for the majority
of patients, the Council’s decision would make little or no difference. ”