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Information regarding out of scope diagnostics, patient notes and GP responsibilities

M Smith made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

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From: M Smith

Dear Ministry of Health,

I would like to find out the answers to some specific questions - if there are standard protocols or guidelines that medical professionals in New Zealand are required to follow, or if it is up to individual hospitals/clinics on what their policy is.
If the latter is indicated, why there is not a centralised policy to ensure consistency for patients?


Which specialists have the authority to diagnose conditions from the DSM-5 such as somatisation syndrome, functional neurological disorder? In other countries, these are predominantly under psychiatry/neurology, but it has come to light that ED physicians, general medicine and gastroenterology specialists are giving these diagnoses without appropriate assessment, and essentially shut patients off from receiving further care and appropriate treatment.

There are a few information sheets online such as through the Medical council on keeping patient notes, but I can not find anything regarding the type of language that is appropriate.
Are there any guidelines/policies for recording patient history and assessment? Is this something that is taught at med school, or do new doctors learn from their superiors/colleagues?

If a patient has been misdiagnosed while in hospital or seeing a public system specialist, what is the protocol for the GP in this situation?

4) Are NZ specialists required to decline or ignore a patient's diagnosis from an overseas specialist, even for conditions that are rare and the doctor doesn't have any prior experience in? Any information you have around this would be wonderful.

Please let me know if any of the above needs further clarification. Looking forward to your response

Yours faithfully,

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Kia ora
Thank you for your request for official information. The reference number
for your request is: H2023029160
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Ngā mihi
OIA Services Team
Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health
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Kia ora M Smith,
Please find attached a response to your request for official information. 

Ngā mihi 


OIA Services Team

Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health

M[1]inistry of Health information releases 
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