Complaints and Disciplinary Process
Complaints against practitioners should be made in writing and be sufficiently detailed. It is recommended that complaints be sent to the Health and Disability Commissioner, PO Box 1791, Auckland.
Where the Podiatrists Board receives a patient care complaint (ie a complaint alleging that the practice or conduct of a podiatrist has affected a health consumer) it must promptly be sent to the Health and Disability Commissioner. If the scope of the complaint is not clear, the complaint will be referred to the Commissioner for preliminary assessment.
The Commissioner may refer complaints to the Podiatrists Board, the responsible authority.
The Board assesses the complaint, and considers in light of the nature and circumstances of the complaint, the action or actions that the Board should take to respond to the complaint.
The Board may decide to refer the complaint to a Professional Conduct Committee.
Professional Conduct Committee
The Podiatrists Board may appoint these committees from time to time to investigate complaints.
The Professional Conduct Committee can make various determinations and recommendations. Some of the determinations and recommendations possible are that: the Board counsel the practitioner, the Board review the competence of the podiatrist, the Board review the practitioner's scope of practice, a charge be brought against the podiatrist, or no further steps be taken.
Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
The HPCA Act has established a Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal to hear and determine charges brought before it for any health practitioner covered by the HPCA Act. Health registration authorities will not hear charges that arise from the operation of the HPCA Act.
The Tribunal membership is composed of the Chairperson (Barrister or Solicitor of the High Court), or a deputy Chairperson and four others, three of whom must be professional peers of the health practitioner and one must be a lay person.
The source of charges is either from the Director of Proceedings (Health and Disability Commissioners Office) or a professional conduct committee.