The use and storage of the information collected by the Council about you is governed primarily by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) and the New Zealand Privacy Act.
Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA)
The Council collects personal information needed in order to perform its functions as set down in the HPCAA. This is to assess your suitability to be entered into the Register of Midwives, to assess your ongoing competence and suitability for the grant of a practising certificate, and to support the Council's duties in respect of any disciplinary, competence, or health matters. Personal information may also be analysed and used in a summary form only, for consideration of workforce and other midwifery issues.
The Privacy Act
The Privacy Act stipulates that the purpose for which the personal information is being collected must be disclosed and the information can only be used for that purpose. You can ask to inspect this information at any time and ask us to correct it if it is incorrect.
The Register of Midwives
The HPCAA requires all health practitioner regulatory authorities to maintain public registers of their practitioners. The purpose is to allow any person to check the register and determine if a person is registered in that field, their qualifications, whether or not they hold a current practising certificate, and any conditions or restrictions on their practice. The Register of Midwives can be viewed at this internet site at any time. The Register is searched directly and contains all of the publicly available information.
The HPCAA specifies that the Council must decide whether or not to publish your address details as part of the public register. The Council has determined that it will publish your town only.
Registration numbers are assigned by the Council as unique identifiers and are not personal information. Registration numbers are not publicised on the online Register and are not generally available to the public however they are made available to:
- the Ministry of Health for purposes related to claiming and Ministry monitoring;
- the coordinator of the Midwifery First Year in Practice Programme;
- individual or corporate entities which request registration numbers for purposes of identification, processing of payments or other purposes related to the provision of maternity care.
Other Personal Details
During its dealings with you the Council may obtain a range of personal details and store these in your file or in our database. It will record such details as are required to carry out its functions. These details will not be released to other persons except as described below.
Other Health Practitioner Regulatory Authorities
The Council will supply verification of registration and current good standing (or not as the case may be) to other registration authorities, here or overseas, if you apply for registration with them. In nearly all cases your application to the other authority includes your permission for them to obtain this information, or authority for collection of this information is included in their legislation. If this is not the case then you must request this yourself.
The Council provides some personal information to HealthPAC, a division of the Ministry of Health. HealthPAC is responsible for the payment of government fees for maternity services either directly to the midwife, or to the employer, or to a provider of services such as radiology and ultrasound, laboratory testing, and prescription medicines. The only information supplied to HealthPAC that is not in the public register is your registration number and your birth date. This is provided for security of identification purposes.
Health Practitioner Index (HPI)
The Council also provides some of the personal information it holds to the New Zealand Health Practitioner Index (HPI). The HPI is maintained by the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government. Its principal purpose is to uniquely identify health practitioners and to hold that information in a central, national database. It is hoped that the HPI will reduce the proliferation of identifiers used throughout the health sector, thus reducing administrative effort, and the risk of errors. It may form a basis for future e-commerce and electronic data sharing. More information can be found at the HPI web site - http://www.nzhis.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexns/hpi
The Health and Disability Commissioner - Other Judicial Authorities
The Health and Disability Commissioner is empowered by his legislation to obtain information he requires in support of his investigations.
The Council may also be required to provide some personal information to other judicial authorities. Examples are the Police and the Coroner. In each case the Council will satisfy itself that the organization concerned has the authority to require the production of the information requested before releasing it.
Research or Consultation by Other Organizations
From time to time the Council receives requests for the contact details of midwives from organizations wishing to carry out legitimate research or consultation projects on midwifery or maternity matters. Council policy is to not agree to these requests. In rare circumstance relating to the nature of the research it is possible that the Council may agree to a mail-out on behalf of the requesting organization. Any such mail-out will be carried out by the Council without releasing personal details to the requesting organization. However it does not view this as one of its functions and would not expect this to occur often.
From time to time the Council will provide data to the government or other organizations concerning midwifery workforce issues. No personally identifying information is provided in these situations.
Health Service Providers You Deal With
The Council is often approached by persons such as pharmacist, radiologist, and medical laboratories seeking contact details or the registration number of midwives. Usually this is because of a problem with a prescription or test order form. The Council will not give out either your address or your registration number. If it is important it may offer to telephone you and give you the contact details of the enquirer.