INDEPENDENT NEWS

Undue Restrictions on Foreign Doctors to Go

Published: Fri 17 Aug 2001 09:52 AM
Undue Restrictions on Foreign Doctors to Go
Thursday, August 16 2001
Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Health
ACT deputy leader Ken Shirley has welcomed the Health Select Committee's report on his Private Members Bill proposing amendments to the Medical Practitioners Act 1995.
"The intention of this Bill was to remove unnecessary restrictions on the registration of competent, foreign-qualified medical practitioners," Mr Shirley said.
"While the Bill won't be enacted in the form in which it was introduced, all political parties on the select committee recognised the need for reform. The committee has concluded that the current practice of registration for overseas medical practitioners is too restrictive.
"In the global health market New Zealand can't afford to restrict the ability of skilled technicians to work here. It was never the intention of my Bill to lower standards of clinical practice and it's regrettable that vested interests within the medical profession ran a campaign of misinformation against the Bill.
"My longstanding belief that the registration system needed greater flexibility has been upheld by the select committee report.
"Evidence presented in submissions revealed a prevailing regime of excessive delays and undue process. In particular, I'm pleased with the recommendation that the New Zealand Medical Council fast-track its recognition of suitable schools of medicine that could be accredited in jurisdictions other than Australia for the purpose of permanent registration.
"This issue has now been thoroughly canvassed and I'm confident the report's recommendations will be fed into the drafting of Health Professionals Competency Assurance Bill which the government has indicated it will introduce later this year," Mr Shirley said.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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