The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal is an independent body established under Part 4 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act . It hears and determines charges brought before it against all types of health practitioners covered by the Act. The Tribunal operates independently from the Board and other registration authorities. The tribunal typically hears only the most serious of complaints.
The Tribunal comprises of a Chairperson, two Deputy Chairs (all of whom are lawyers who have been practising at least 7 years) and registered health practitioners and lay members. All members are appointed by the Minister of Health.
The Chair and Deputy Chairs are appointed for a 3-year term and serve no more than 9 consecutive years.
Tribunal members are appointed for a five year term and there is no limit to the number of consecutive years.
When the Tribunal sits to hear and determine any matter, it sits with a presiding Chair (or Deputy Chair) and four members. Of the four members, three are health practitioners from the same area as the respondent health practitioner, and one is a lay member.
The source of the charges before the tribunal are filed by either the Director of Proceedings (from the Health and Disability Commissioner’s office) or a Professional Conduct Committee.
The Tribunal can make restrict the public nature of the hearing, including ordering that the whole or part of the hearing be heard in private and suppressing publication of the name or particulars of any person, involved.
All orders and decisions are published on the Tribunal’s website. Once a written decision is released, the Tribunal’s role is finished unless the Tribunal is required to revisit the decision by the Court. Appeals of Tribunal decisions are to the High Court.
Appeals must be filed within 20 working days from the date of the Tribunal’s decision. Unless a court orders otherwise, the penalties imposed by the Tribunal stay in force pending the outcome of an appeal. Appeals against decisions of the Tribunal are to the High Court, whose decision is final on all matters except points of law, which may be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal decisions and events are published on the tribunal’s website: www.hpdt.org.nz.
You can find further information on the Tribunal’s Disciplinary Proceedings here.