The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act) requires all health practitioners to advise the relevant regulatory authority if they have reason to believe that a health practitioner is unable to perform the functions required for the practice of their profession due to some mental or physical condition. This can include self-notification.
As well as being required to notify this Board of concerns about an optometrist’s or dispensing optician’s health, all optometrists and dispensing opticians have legal obligations to notify (for example) the Medical Council of concerns about a doctor’s health, or the Nursing Council of concerns about a nurse’s health.
The following people are also required to advise the Board if they believe an optometrist or dispensing optician is unable to perform the functions required for the practice of their profession due to some mental or physical condition:
- a person in charge of an organisation that provides health services
- an employer of a health practitioner
- a medical officer of health.
A person in charge of an educational programme in New Zealand that includes a course of study that the Board has prescribed as a qualification for registration, and who believes a student of that course would be unable to perform the functions required for the practice of the profession due to some mental or physical condition must advise the Board of this.
Policy on Fitness to Practise
Click here for the Board’s Policy on Fitness to Practise of Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, which outlines how the Board will deal with such cases referred to it. The Board’s aim is to support the practitioner’s return to wellness while ensuring that the health and safety of the public is protected.
Transmissable Major Viral Infections (TMVI)
Health Regulatory Authorities of New Zealand (HRANZ) is an organisation made up of all the health regulatory authorities. HRANZ has developed a guideline for managing health practitioners with a TMVI, including HIV and Hepatitis.
As one of the members of HRANZ, the Board will adopt these guidelines upon receipt of a notification that an optometrist or dispensing optician has a TMVI.
Click here for the guidelines.