From 1 July 2022, medical reports requested under section 40 of the Coroners Act 2006 will be paid for GPs working in private practice.
The topic of general practitioners not being paid for producing coroner’s reports has been an ongoing issue for quite some time. The College, New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), and GenPro have all advocated for this system to be changed. In fact we wrote our first letters to the Justice Minister and Chief Coroner two and a half years ago.
Gore-based GP Dr Deborah Johnstone added to that work when she made an individual complaint to the Ombudsman. Her complaint resulted in an official investigation and was flagged for review by the Ministry of Justice.
Because of this work, from 1 July GPs in private practice will now be paid for writing coroners reports.
The Coroners regulations have the following key features:
The fee payable is $200 + GST per hour.
Fees will be paid at an hourly rate, calculated on a pro rata basis rounded up to the nearest minute, up to a cap of four hours.
Payments will be made to doctors in private practice only. Doctors employed by District Health Boards and other doctors are already paid by a public service agency to write s 40 reports as part of their duties.
Operational information about s 40 reports is now available on the Coronial Services website