Good Medical Practice: An update
The Medical Council of New Zealand recently launched a new, revised version of their Good Medical Practice guidance. Sara Williams shares a round-up of the most significant changes
We all have an opinion of what makes a good consultation with a professional, whether it is being listened to, respected or even compassionate, but what everyone would agree on is that, above all else, we expect professionals to be competent and up-to-date.
The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) have recently updated their seminal guidance Good Medical Practice (GMP), which outlines the professional duties of a good doctor and outlines the clinical standard against which their conduct and decision-making will be measured.
What it is not is an exhaustive code of ethics; it is a guide to assist doctors in understanding and complying with the requirements of legislation.
Why the revision?
GMP was reviewed and subsequently updated to summarise the duties of all doctors in a simple and clear manner. It is a document intended to help doctors monitor their own conduct and that of their colleagues.
Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) the MCNZ is tasked with setting the standards, clinical competence, cultural competence and ethical conduct of all doctors. GMP was put out for consultation last year and is the result of feedback from patients, the public, stakeholders and doctors, detailing the standards a competent doctor is expected to meet.
GMP is used by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, the MCNZ’s Professional Conduct Committees, and the Health and Disability Commissioner in determining whether a doctor has acted inappropriately. The MCNZ says that the new guidance places more emphasis on explaining the key principles and standards in GMP. In this article we will look at the most significant changes to the guidance.