Deciding about regulation

Who makes the decision that the profession of ambulance officers and NZDF medics needs to be regulated?

The ultimate decision is made by the Minister of Health, on the advice from the Ministry of Health. However, it is usual for the profession itself to discuss and decide whether to make an application. The discussion the sector is currently having will help with the decision of whether ambulance officers and NZDF medics should apply to be covered by the HPCA Act.

The trustees of Ambulance New Zealand and the service providers will make the decision.

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How would the decision be made?

The decision would be made by the Minister acting on advice of the Ministry of Health and those in the sector.

This could cover all ambulance officers and medics or only those practicing at Intermediate and Advanced Life Support levels.

Click here to see an outline of the process involved

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Why do governments become involved in regulation of health professions?

Governments have taken over some aspects regulating health professions rather than relying on self regulation by the profession because some professions are able to cause considerable patient harm.

Also with the growth of consumer groups, there has been a call for more external accountability for some professions. There is also a concern that some professions may unnecessarily restrict those that can enter the profession. Self regulation may also allow health professions to protect the interests of their profession rather than the interests of the patient.

That’s why in many countries there is more public and government involvement in regulation of health professions.

New Zealand is no different. Health professions are regulated under the HPCA Act, although the professions remain involved and set the standards for the profession. This has been termed ‘professionally led regulation in partnership with the public’

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