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New law extends health practitioner functions

02 November 2016

A third reading has been given by Parliament to eight amendment bills, which enable a wider range of health practitioners to undertake certain functions which have been restricted to medical practitioners.

The Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill was divided into eight amendment bills during the committee stages.

The new legislation will be brought into force by Order in Council, with this able to occur on separate occasions for different parts of each new Act.

The Accident Compensation Amendment Bill (No 2) amends the Accident Compensation Act 2001. It replaces medical practitioners with health practitioners in the provisions relating to individual rehabilitation plans.

The Burial and Cremation Amendment Bill amends the Burial and Cremation Act 1964. Nurse practitioners providing care for a patient who dies will be able to certify the cause of death, with references to "doctor's certificate of cause of death" replaced by "certificate of cause of death".

The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 2) amends the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989. It enables health practitioners as well as medical practitioners to request and carry out medical examinations in specified circumstances.

The Holidays Amendment Bill (No 2) amends the Holidays Act 2003. It allows health practitioners to sign a certificate of proof of sickness or injury.

The Land Transport Amendment Bill amends the Land Transport Act 1998. It makes a number of changes which permit health practitioners to take blood specimens and give certificates in blood-alcohol matters.

The Medicines Amendment Bill amends the Medicines Act 1981. It makes changes relating to designated prescribers of medicines.

The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Bill amends the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. It enables health practitioners to carry out a number of functions which were previously restricted to medical practitioners.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (No 2) amends the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. It extends the ability of health professionals to prescribe controlled drugs.

Last updated on the 2nd November 2016