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Health Law Intensive course

The University of Otago’s Faculty of Law is pleased to offer this postgraduate-focused course. It is of interest to senior clinicians, health board members, chief executives, and senior managers working in the health sector. Enrolment is also open to post-graduate law students and practising lawyers with an interest in the field of health law.

The 2021 course, initially scheduled for 23-27 August in Wellington, will now be held from 1-5 November due to COVID-19 Alert Level changes.

To enrol, please send a completed enrolment form to:

What to expect at the Health Law Intensive course

The course consists of 5 full days of intensive teaching. Each day includes lectures, case studies, and small group work, addressing the most important legal issues and challenges faced by the health sector.

Numbers are limited to allow plenty of interaction with presenters and other participants. A list of topics is set out below and in the attached brochure.

Participants will be expected to prepare for the course with pre-course reading.

Who should attend?

You will benefit from this course if you are working in a senior role in the health sector. In particular, you should consider attending if you:

  • Practise as a chief medical adviser, clinical director/leader or as a senior clinician in the New Zealand health sector.
  • Serve as a board member, chief executive, or senior manager of a health sector organisation (including DHBs, private hospitals, and NGOs)
  • Have worked as a senior clinician or manager in an overseas jurisdiction and wish to develop your knowledge of New Zealand health law
  • Are undertaking vocational training with any of the Royal Australasian Colleges
  • Are considering studying towards a postgraduate qualification in health law, such as a University of Otago Masters in Bioethics and Health Law

Course overview (with examples of topics covered)

Day 1: Health systems and the law

  • Understanding health laws and the principles of statutory interpretation
  • Identifying statutory roles of key health sector stakeholders
  • Discussing health sector funding, procurements and contracting
  • Civil and criminal liability relating to the provision of health and disability services in New Zealand
  • New Zealand’s no fault compensation scheme
  • Compulsory assessment and treatment

Day 2: Health consumers and the law

  • Promoting and protecting patients’ rights under the Code of Rights
  • Duty of care
  • Obtaining informed consent
  • Advance directives
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Healthcare decision making in the absence of consent
  • Healthcare decisions by and for children

Day 3: Health practitioners and the law

  • Managing concerns about health, competence, or conduct of health practitioners
  • Key principles of employment law
  • Collective bargaining
  • Human Rights and the Health and Disability Sector
  • Ensuring workplace health and safety
  • Preventing, managing and learning from complaints

Day 4: Making good decisions in the provision of healthcare

  • Health information privacy
  • Official Information and PQAAs
  • Prioritising in a resource constrained environment
  • Complying with principles of natural justice and avoiding judicial review
  • Major inquiries
  • Governance in the health and disability sector

Day 5: Health law and ethics

  • Beginning of life
  • Organ donation
  • Withdrawal of treatment
  • End of life
  • Reporting of deaths and coronial inquiries