NZTF submission to Health Select Committee on Medicines Amendments Bill
Malcolm Pollock, the Forum's Interim Chair and Telehealth Leadership Group member Michael Thorn from the Medical Council appeared in front of the Medicines Amendment Select Committee to follow up the submission made by the Forum on the need to change the legislation to allow for clinicians to provide patient prescriptions from a remote location. Malcolm presented a brief overview of the Forum's position and he and Michael answered a number of questions from the MPs. The presentation appeared to be well received, with no contrary view being put forward by Committee members. Subsequently the Ministry of Health has been in touch with Malcolm to review the matter.
About the submission
The Forum has made a submission to the Health Select Committee on the Medicines Amendments Bill currently before Parliament. The current Bill, and the regulations that fall under the Bill, make it difficult for a practitioner to issue a prescription when the patient is in a different location, even though the patient is under the authorised prescriber's care and scope of practice.
We have asked that:
- the Bill address more directly the principles that underpin prescribing
- the clauses relating to prescribing outline a clear, simple process that will allow prescribers to prescribe medicines electronically. Such prescribing should be limited to situations where: the patient is under the prescriber's care; the prescriber is acting within his or her scope of practice; the prescriber has sufficient information to form an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan; the prescription is in accordance with that treatment plan; and there is sufficient security to assure a dispensing pharmacist that the prescription is genuine.