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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 20-January-2012, Vol 125 No 1348

BPAC recertification plan
The Medical Council has now raised the educational hurdle for those practising “in a general scope of practice in a collegial relationship”. These doctors must accept the proposed programme at their next annual re-registration and pay $1200 for the privilege.
The Council has some explaining to do. BPAC is an unknown quantity to many of us. We should have been told, firstly, why the change is necessary—“extensive consultation during 2009 and 2010” may indeed have taken place, but what was the consulting about, and what were the conclusions? What are the qualifications of BPAC in the field of setting educational programmes and who precisely were the perpetrators of this plan? Was any other group asked for an opinion? We perhaps know that BPAC publish “Best Practice”, that they are independent and have five shareholders, but I get the sense there is an ivory tower element about the whole process.
I have a very clear sense of déjà vu, going back to the 1980s, when Peter Anyon battled the Council, among other matters, on its role in supervising education. He pointed out that the Council had failed in its duty to keep the profession informed of what they were on about, and I suggest that this new plan is just another example. They would be unwise to ignore the reaction of the profession at that time.
We are generally intelligent people, and given enough information, can make reasoned conclusions. We can’t work in a vacuum. Cynically one could suggest that the arrival of their letter was timed to reach us just before the holidays, so that, with luck, the recipients would lose any enthusiasm to contest the proposal.
I would hope not.
Humphrey B Rainey
Upper Hutt
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