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National Health Index (NHI) Number Format Change and Allied Health Data Set Draft Standard

NZNO is seeking your feedback on two brief consultation documents from the Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO) available here:

  1. National Health Index (NHI) Number Format Change

HISO has identified a need to extend the range of NHI numbers for future use.  A number of options have been considered. The recommended option is to change the check digit algorithm and number format from AAANNNN to AAANNAA

  • The cutover would occur once the existing number range is exhausted; the old format would be retained alongside the new format. 
  • No mapping between NHI numbers would be required.
  • At current allocation rates there would be sufficient NHI numbers to last another 130 years.

Click on the “NHI Number Format Change Public Comment Document” from the above link to download the proposal (scroll down after the public comment form).

  1. Allied Health Data Set Draft Standard.. The Standard defines the minimum data required to be captured by Allied Health staff in DHBs to record patient related clinical activity. It is currently being reviewed to assess and maintain its currency.

You may comment on the standard as a whole or any part of the document. Download the consultation document HERE.

Please forward your feedback on either or both documents by by 30 October 2017 to:

Posted in: Consultations

Advanced Nursing Practice Position Statement Revision

NZNO adopted a position statement on Advanced Nursing Practice in 2000.  This is the 4th revision of the document and includes recent work by the National Nursing Consortium on specialty practice standards, Dr Kathy Holloway on a New Zealand nurse specialist framework, and the Nursing Council of New Zealand work on competencies for nurse prescribers and nurse practitioners.  While drafting the revision we have focused on making the position statement clear, concise and current.

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by 24 November 2017.

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Posted in: Consultations

Dietitians Board

The Dietitians Board is currently consulting on its Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians, which are aspirational and forward focussed.

The draft document can be found HERE  and a short survey can be found HERE.  Please respond directly to the survey and will help guide the future of dietetics in New Zealand.

Your input would be valuable to our consultation and to the profession.

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by  25 October 2017.

Posted in: Consultations

Low Emissions

NZNO is seeking feedback on the Productivity Commission’s issues paper on how New Zealand can transition to a lower net-emissions economy. While the issues paper does not specifically look at the potential to reduce emissions in the health sector, NZNO is interested in any specific programmes that health organisations, hospitals etc are undertaking, or could undertake, to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

Access the paper here: Low-emissions economy

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by 29 September 2017.

Posted in: Consultations

Proposed guidelines for family gamete donation, embryo donation, use of donated eggs with donated sperm and surrogacy

NZNO seeks members’ feedback on ACART’s revised guidelines.

NZNO seeks your feedback on ACART’s proposal to replace four separate guidelines with one set that covers the four procedures of: family gamete donation, embryo donation, the use of donated eggs with donated sperm, and clinic-assisted surrogacy. NZNO also seeks feedback on ACART’s advice to the Minister of Health about the scope of cases covered in the revised guidelines.

See link below:

Please send feedback to by  6th November 2017

Posted in: Consultations

Proposal to consider the regulation of infant formula products specifically infant formula for special dietary use

NZNO seeks members’ feedback on the Food Standards Authority New Zealand (FSANZ) proposal to consider the regulation of infant formula products specifically, infant formula for special dietary use.

This proposal considers issues related to the regulation of infant formula products for special dietary use including: categories, definitions, composition, labelling and access to products in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Access the proposal here: FSANZ Consultation Paper

Feedback due: to by Thursday 21 September 2017.

Posted in: Consultations

Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

This Bill aims to establish the policy, rules and employment processes which aim to eliminate gender-based discrimination, in terms of pay and other conditions of employment.


 It sets out a process for employees to file a pay equity claim and for regulators to consider:

• whether a pay equity claim has merit;

• matters that could be considered as part of a pay equity assessment;

• identifying appropriate comparators.


Read: Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

Please note: If there is a change of government following the General Election, the Bill may be changed. 

In either case, however, NZNO is interested in comment and feedback from members who have, or may potentially be, affected by pay equity regulation.

Feedback due: to by 20 October 2017.

Posted in: Consultations

Health and Disability Service Standards Review 2017 – short survey

The Ministry of Health is undertaking its three yearly review of the Health and Disability Service Standards. Feedback is sought via a short survey; members are welcome to submit directly and/or to NZNO.  

Note: In 2013 NZNO recommended that all standards be amended  to include :

•   accountable measures for ensuring safe staffing in all health services i.e. that there are appropriate systems to ensure sufficient staff with the right skill mix                                            (education, training, experience) and resources (e.g. assessment tools, care capacity demand management) to meet patient numbers and acuity;

•   that the amendments should apply to the  standards for safe and appropriate environment; and continuum of care; and

•   that the amendments should apply to all  services.

A recommendation for a mandatory standard for safe Aged-Care and Dementia-Care services is part of NZNO’s manifesto.

The service standards can be viewed here

The 2017 survey can be found here 

Feedback as soon as possible.

Posted in: Consultations

Changes to funding of Ciproflaxin for chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM)

NZNO seeks members’ feedback on PHARMAC’s proposal to widen access to ciproflaxin eyedrops for the treatment of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM).

Please note this proposal was amended on 14 August following concerns around its use in otitis externa.

Access the amended proposal here:

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by 25 August 2017.

Posted in: Consultations

‘Choose Wisely’ Campaign

The ‘Choose Wisely’ campaign has its origins in the United States and is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation ‘… designed to spark conversations among patients, physicians and other health professionals about appropriate tests and procedures …’ (Mason, 2015, p. 657).  It is now a global initiative with the New Zealand campaign being promoted by the Health Quality and Safety Commission and Consumer NZ and endorsed by a number of the Australasian medical specialist colleges, the Council of Medical Colleges in New Zealand, and the New Zealand College of Midwives among others.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation/Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) needs to decide if it will also endorse the campaign and the position it would take in doing so.

Questions to consider:

1. Is there a problem in New Zealand about how tests, treatments and procedures are explained to patients including their impact on providing best quality care for the patient?  If so, is that problem greater for health services and care for some groups, particularly Maori and Pacific communities and those experiencing mental health challenges?

2. How do nurses advocate in a culturally safe way for care recipients who have either been referred for tests/procedures/treatments that seem unnecessary or who should have tests/procedures/treatments for which they have not been referred?

3. What is the potential for unintended consequences of the ‘choose wisely’ campaign?  Is one of those potential unintended consequences the possibility that care recipients will see this campaign as a rationing exercise and as a sequelae of an under-resourced healthcare system?

Barriers to access, for example those proposed by PHARMAC in 2016 to the long-acting intra-uterine system (LIUS) ‘Mirena’, resulted in subsidised mirenas primarily being used by older, peri-menopausal women to reduce the need for hysterectomy, while younger women with similar symptoms who were seeking safe, long-term reversible contraception, were excluded. (See: NZNO Submission to PHARMAC re Mirena sole supply (PDF 388KB) While benefiting one group, another is excluded for cost control reasons.  Over the productive lifetime of women impacted, the benefits of funded access to such products needs to be factored into analyses.

4. What evidence is there that nurses inappropriately order and administer unnecessary tests, procedures and treatments?  There is evidence to the contrary – that Nurse Practitioners prudently prescribe and order tests and procedures. (see Gardner, Gardner & O’Connell, 2014)


Gardner, G.; Gardner, A. and O’Connell, J. (2014) Using the Donabedian framework to examine the quality and safety of nursing service innovation. Journal of Clinical Nursing 23, 145-155 doi: 10.1111/jocn.12146

Mason, D. (2015) Choosing Wisely: Changing clinicians, patients or policies? The JAMA Forum 313:7 p. 657-658

Feedback due: Please send feedback to Sue Gasquoine, Nursing Policy Adviser/Researcher by 30 September 2017.

Posted in: Consultations

National guidance on follow up and supportive care of lung cancer patients after curative intent therapy

NZNO seeks member feedback on the NLCWG draft document to provide guidance on follow up and supportive care of lung cancer patients who have completed curative-intent treatment. 

Access the draft guidance document and feedback form below.

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by 21 August  2017.


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Posted in: Consultations

Measuring and improving state sector productivity

NZNO seeks members’ feedback on an issues paper from the Productivity Commission on how to better measure the efficiency of public services, at both a sector and service level and how these measures can form part of effective performance management systems. Feedback is wanted on Note and feedback on any validated measurement tools that support agencies to measure, understand, and improve productivity.

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by 1 September  2017


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Posted in: Consultations

Amended: Changes to diabetes management products

NZNO seeks members’ feedback on PHARMAC’s proposal to change and upgrade their current brand of diagnostic test meters and test strips to a choice of four CareSens diagnostic test meters and their associated test strips, and fund widened access to a blood ketone meter (CareSens Dual). Pharmac will no longer fund the Care Sens II Meter and test strips; the Freestyle Optimum meter, blood glucose and test strips; and the Accu-Chek Performa blood glucose test strips.  Consider clinical circumstances for keeping funded access of existing meters, and when is it necessary to test for ketones.

Please note that PHARMAC now asks that you disregard the previous consultation as it relates to the proposal to award Hospital Sole Supply.

 Access the proposal here:

Feedback due: Please send feedback to by 18 August  2017.

Posted in: Consultations


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