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.
The Council must determine whether the complaint concerns patient care (that is, a complaint alleging that the practice or conduct of a health practitioner has adversely affected a health consumer), or whether the complaint is based solely on issues of competence or fitness and there is no identifiable health consumer.
If the complaint relates to a health consumer it must be referred to the Health and Disability Commissioner. If the scope of the complaint is not clear, the complaint will be referred to the Commissioner for a preliminary assessment.
The Commissioner may refer complaints to the Council.
If the complaint does not relate to a health consumer, the Council may decide to refer the complaint to a Professional Conduct Committee.
Professional Conduct Committees can make various determinations and recommendations. Some of the determinations and recommendations are:
The Council may appoint these committees from time to time to investigate the complaint and make recommendations and/or determinations. They are composed of 2 health practitioners who are registered with the Council, and 1 layperson. Members of the Council may also be on Professional Conduct Committees.
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. The Tribunal is a separate body from the Council. It is likely that the Tribunal will consider only the most serious of complaints.
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 of whom must be a lay person.
The source of charges before the Tribunal is either the Director of Proceedings (Health and Disability Commissioners Office) or a Professional Conduct Committee.
Patients who wish to make a complaint about an osteopath must provide sufficient information so that an investigation can be carried out and it can be determined that the complaint is genuine.
Sufficient information is likely to include:
Note: Anonymous complaints are very difficult to respond to, given that the Registrar and the Council are unable to confirm or clarify the course of events.
You can complain to the Council, but it will be immediately forwarded to the appropriate agency.
The following process is required by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act)
Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC)
If the practitioner is registered and holds a current Practising Certificate
(Complaints to HDC)
Ministry of Health (MOH)
If the practitioner is not registered and/or does not hold a current Practising Certificate
(Complaints to MOH)
What happens next?
What happens next?
The HDC notifies the Osteopathic Council that a complaint has been received and does a preliminary investigation (which might be quite detailed) of the complaint. This investigation will involve the practitioner and the person making the complaint.
The Council assesses the complaint and decides whether to:
The MOH notifies the Osteopathic Council that a complaint has been received and does a preliminary investigation (which might be quite detailed) of the complaint. This investigation will involve the practitioner and the person making the complaint.
Professional Conduct Committee
A professional conduct committee (PCC) set up, under section 71(1) of the HPCA Act, must consist of two registered health practitioners and one layperson.
Section 76 gives the PCC the right to:
Step 2 Professional Conduct Committee
The PCC reports and makes one or more of the following recommendations to Council:
The PCC may determine that:
Step 2 Competence Review Committee
The CRC meets with the osteopath, usually in the osteopath's place of practice to gather information. This information is subject to any express process set out in the terms of reference, and may include:
Step 3 Competence Review Committee
Click here to read the recent HPDT decision concerning Valerie Todd.
Please click here to read the current consultation documents on fees and overseas qualified osteopaths.
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