Key advocacy issues in 2021
- New Zealand’s Health and Disability System Review, described as “a once in a generation opportunity for systemic reform,” aims for greater centralisation, coordination and consistent service delivery for all New Zealanders. The Government's key changes (announced in April) include disestablishing DHBs, and the creation of a new central entity Health NZ, and independent Maori Health Authority. The major driver behind these reforms is to deliver greater consistency of care across the country and to reduce health inequity among Maori, Pacific and rural populations. We are supportive of the reforms and are engaged with the Transition Unit to keep updated on developments. The new health organisations are set to be in place by July 2022.
- End of Life Care Act will implement a legally assisted dying service by 7 November 2021. The NZSA is involved in a committee which provides regulatory oversight of the changes. We have been keeping members informed of their obligations under the Act and sharing resources.
- Climate Change and sustainable healthcare, we support lowering NZ’s carbon footprint to meet our obligations of the Paris Climate Accord and advocate on how the health sector is integral in lowering emissions to reach the Government’s 2030 zero carbon neutral goals. We have advocated that climate change mitigation and adaptation needs to be undertaken within the context of health, wellbeing and equity. Our Environmental and Sustainability Network drives our work on sustainable healthcare and climate change advocacy.
- PHARMAC medical devices procurement, is focused on fairer access and equity. We have strongly conveyed that anaesthetists must be represented across multiple committees to advise on medical devices, to reflect the breadth of our specialty’s involvement in the health sector. PHARMAC have been receptive to this advice and we are now awaiting more operational detail on this project.
- PHARMAC consultation on its advisory committees aims to make these committees more consumer focused, and able to deliver more equitable outcomes for medicines.
- Assistants to the Anaesthetists, we are part of a stakeholder group which aims to bridge AA shortages and ensure a smooth transition to AUT's degree program from the current diploma. A key aim is to ensure the new degree adheres to ANZCA's Position Statement on Assistants to the Anaesthetist to maintain high quality standards of care.
We have most recently developed submissions on funding of assisted dying services for implementation of the End of Life Care Act 2019 and proposals to widen the number of drugs able to be prescribed by designated pharmacist prescribers.
Ministry of Health - Amendments to Designated Pharmacist Prescribers Regulations 2013 and Schedule 1B of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations - 9 August
Ministry of Health - Funding of assisted dying services - 26 July (MOH consultation document here)
PHARMAC - Review of PHARMAC model including questionnaire - 19 July
Medical Council of New Zealand - A doctor’s duty to help in a medical emergency - 9 April
Climate Change Commission - Climate Change Commission report - 28 March 2021
PHARMAC - Consultation on advisory committees - 19 March 2021
PM, Ministers of Health and Climate Change - Health sector contribution to Government's carbon neutral goals - 19 January 2021
- Auckland University of Technology - Proposed AUT Bachelor of Health Science in Perioperative Practice degree - 4 December 2020
- University of Otago - Mirror on Society policy - 16 October 2020
- TAS - Proposed change to Resident Medical Officer training dates for the 2021 training year - 7 July 2020
- Medical Council of New Zealand – NZSA submission on Medical Council statement on unprofessional behaviour – 24 June
- Memo from PHARMAC: critical care medicines supply in the context of COVID-19 - 6 May 2020
- Letter to NZSA from the NZ Private Surgical Hospitals Association on COVID-19 preparedness - 9 April 2020
- Health Minister - COVID-19 letter on overseas insights and how NZSA can assist in a national response - March 2020 - appendix on personal protective equipment
- Ministry for the Environment - Priority products and priority product stewardship guidelines - Oct 2019
- Ministry of Health - Medicinal Cannabis Scheme - August 2019
- Environment Committee - Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill - July 2019
- PHARMAC - Fairer access to hospital medical devices - July 2019
- ANZCA - PS 43 Guidelines on fatigue management - July 2019
- ANZCA - PS 06 Anaesthetic record letter and tracked doc changes- June 2019
- Medical Council of New Zealand - Information, choice of treatment and informed consent letter and tracked doc changes - May 2019
- Ministry of Health - Therapeutic Products Bill - April 2019
- Medical Council of New Zealand - Recertification for Vocationally Registered Doctors - Oct 2018
- Medical Council of New Zealand - Safe Practice in an Environment of Resource Limitation - July 2018
- Ministry for the Environment - Zero Carbon Bill - July 2018
- Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment - Insurance contract law review - July 2018
- Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry Panel - Mental health and addiction inquiry - June 2018
- Health Select Committee - Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act Amendment Bill - April 2018
- Justice Select Committee - End of Life Choice Bill - March 2018
- ANZCA - PS 65 Guidelines for the Performance Assessment of a Peer - Jan 2018
- ANZCA - PS64 Statement on Environmental Sustainability in Anaesthesia and Pain Management and tracked suggested changes in the PS64 Statement- Jan 2018
- Medical Sciences Council - Anaesthetic Technician Scope of Practice Review - Dec 2017
- NZSA submission on PHARMAC proposed bulk fluids - Nov 2017
- Consultation on proposed bulk fluids listings for DHB Hospitals - Nov 2017
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - Review of Essential Skills in Demand List - Anaesthetists - August 2017
- Ministry of Health - Proposed scheduling of flubromazolam as a Class C1 controlled drug - July 2017
- Ministry of Health - Proposal to re-classify Fentanyl as a B1 controlled drug - July 2017
- Ministry of Health - A Strategy to Prevent Suicide in New Zealand - June 2017
- Health Workforce New Zealand - Post-entry training of NZ's future health workforce: proposed investment approach - May 2017
- Health and Disability Commission - Health and disability research involving adult participants unable to provide informed consent - April 2017
- PHARMAC - Supply of anaesthetic equipment and consumables - April 2017
- Medical Council of New Zealand - Strengthening recertification for vocationally registered doctors - March 2017
- ANZCA - PS51 Guidelines for the safe management and use of medications in New Zealand - Jan 2017
HDC case - NZSA commissioned legal opinion
A medication error by an anaesthetist was investigated by the Health and Disability Commissioner in 2017, which involved the anaesthetist accidentally administering extra epidural morphine to a patient during spinal surgery. The doctor was found to have breached Right 4(1) of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. The full HDC report can be read here.
The NZSA commissioned an independent legal opinion on this case in response to concerns expressed by some anaesthetists regarding the HDC decision and report, and its potential implications such as undermining open disclosure and transparency. The legal opinion, as well as a memorandum provided by our lawyers on the options available for challenging an HDC opinion, can be read below. Read the HDC independent legal opinion here.
You can also read a memo outlining options for challenging an HDC opinion here.