4.9We have considered a number of agencies for this responsibility, including the Department of Internal Affairs, the Health Quality and Safety Commission, MOJ and MOH.
4.10As we described in Chapter 3, the three primary public purposes of death certification cover health, justice and statistical interests. However, our consultation and research has revealed that by far the greatest current problems, and therefore the main focus of our proposals, relate to the determination of the cause of death. Making improvements in that area requires medical expertise. It also follows that, where public money is required for these improvements, funding should largely come from health budgets rather than from justice or statistics.
4.12The death certification system is the only aspect of the policy underlying the current Act that we consider should remain the responsibility of the Ministry of Health. As we mentioned in Chapter 1, responsibility for all other aspects—burials, cremations, regulation of the funeral industry and the framework for burial decisions—should be held by the Department of Internal Affairs. Given the retention of this responsibility by the Ministry of Health, it may be thought that the legislative provisions relating to death certification should best reside alongside other health legislation—perhaps as an amendment to the Health Act 1956—rather than alongside burial and cremation legislation.
R2The Ministry of Health should have responsibility for the quality of outputs and outcomes from the death certification process.