Mai i te Tumuaki

From the Chair | The Ministry of Health has just released a targeted consultation on the possible regulation of physician associates (PAs) under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA).

Tēnā koutou i runga i ngā ahuatanga o te wā.

The Medical Council is one of 65 stakeholder organisations invited to respond with the closing date of the Ministry’s consultation being 11 August 2023.

The criteria for the Ministry on whether to regulate a profession include an assessment of the existing regulatory mechanisms and the practicality of regulating the profession under the HPCAA. 

The Ministry has also invited feedback on whether the benefits of regulation outweigh the negative impacts of regulation. According to the Ministry, there are 33 PAs practising in New Zealand under supervision, with a further 17 proposed to be employed in the short term. 

The regulation of physician associates under the HPCAA presents a multifaceted issue that will have an impact on all doctors (and other professions) given the supervisory requirements PAs may be working under, and the potential costs of regulating a relatively small number of practitioners.

The Medical Council, therefore, sees it as crucial that the medical profession is able to inform, contribute and participate in the current proposal.  Consequently, the Council intends to write to all doctors and other stakeholders next week, with the Ministry’s proposal and key questions we are seeking your views on. 

Your insights and perspectives will be critical in shaping our response and position to the Ministry on PA regulation.

Nō reira, kia haere haumaru tonu koutou i ō koutou mahi, i ō koutou kāinga.

Kia manawanui

Dr Curtis Walker

Tumuaki | Chair