About the Complaints process

If the Responsible Authority received a complaint that you had not acted appropriately or within the required standard of practice, they may set up a professional conduct committee to investigate the matter. Your views and information would be sought.

If the professional conduct committee considers the matter was serious they may refer the case to the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. Because you would be personally responsible for your competence under the HPCA Act, you would need to answer to the tribunal and give your perspective.

In all its processes the Responsible Authority must act fairly and give you a chance to put your point of view.

The HPCA Act includes rights of appeal to the District Court on many of the decisions of the Responsible Authority and a person may appeal to the High Court on the decisions of the Tribunal. Ambulance officers and medics would have to take personal responsibility to remain competent at the level they are registered at, as the HPCA Act requires you to do so. Activities such as continuing clinical education may be one appropriate way of remaining competent.

The Responsible Authority could put conditions or restrictions on individual ambulance officer or medic’s practice, to limit what they could do, if there were concerns about their ability to practice across a whole scope. This is similar to a Medical Director’s ability to do that now.

If there is a complaint about an ambulance officer or medic’s practice, they may have to answer to the Responsible Authority in addition to the Health and Disability Commissioner and also to their employer.

Ambulance officers would have to meet the requirements of regulation in addition to the requirements of their employer who they have a contractual obligation to.

The Act requires that there is a process for checking practitioners’ competency. It’s up to the Responsible Authority to set up a process for this and there can be a variety of approaches they may take