The amendment sets out obligations of groups in the health and disability sector, including physiotherapists, as well as of Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) that employ physiotherapists or engage their services. PCBUs also need to consider their obligations under relevant health and safety legislation and employment law.
Importantly, the Order requiring vaccination of health and disability sector workers was made by the Ministry of Health, not by individual responsible authorities such as the Physiotherapy Board. To ensure you receive an authoritative answer, your questions, enquires, or comments about the Order or its application, should be directed to the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health has provided a guidance document to assist PCBUs and workers to understand and implement the vaccination order. This document provides information about the key responsibilities of PCBUs and workers, exceptions and exemptions, and answers to common questions.
What does the Order mean for mean for Physiotherapists?
The Code of Ethics requires physiotherapists to have a full understanding of and comply with the laws and regulations that govern and impact on the practice of physiotherapy in New Zealand (principle 5.8).
Physiotherapists therefore need to understand and comply with the Order, because health practitioners are included within the groups in the health and disability sector that must be vaccinated in order to carry out certain work.
The Order requires all health practitioners to have COVID-19 vaccinations by specified dates, (15 November 2021 first dose, 1 January 2022 second dose) in order to continue working, irrespective of the setting in which they work. This includes telehealth.
What about those working in my service who aren’t physiotherapists?
The Order also affects non-physiotherapists working in health and disability sector, such as support staff. Physiotherapists should refer to the Ministry guidance for specific information about how the Order affects workers in your service or place of work.
Will the Board be monitoring or checking compliance with the Order?
Not at this time. However complaints of non-compliance may be considered by the Board in cases where they allege conduct that appears to breach the Board’s standards.