New South Wales. Administrative Decisions Tribunal
Unlawful discrimination, victimisation, no evidence of either
New South Wales. Medical Tribunal
25/06/10: Rolleston, John
South Australia. District Court
Athanasiadis v Likos  SADC 85
Torts - negligence - proof of negligence - weight and credibility of evidence.
Victoria. County Court
This case concerns a medical negligence claim against Dr McPherson, a locum physician at Warley Hospital at Cowes, Phillips Island, and Dr McCormick, a general practitioner at the Bass Coast Family Medicine Centre in relation to treatment provided to Nathanial McKay (the plaintiff).
The plaintiff presented to Dr McPherson on 14 December 2003 seeking medical attention as he was having difficulty in breathing, had bloating in the abdomen, a sore throat, and felt very weak. He presented with tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat) and an ECG was performed which provided an 'unconfirmed report'.
The plaintiff also attended his general practitioner Dr McCormick on 15, 17 and 18 December 2003, who noted on 15 December that the plaintiff has bronchitis, a sore throat and headache, difficulty breathing and was very weak, and on examination had tachycardia and ordered for the plaintiff to have a chest x-ray. Dr McCormick received the results on 17 December, which showed an enlarged heart and changes consistent with cardiomyopathy. Dr McCormick consequently made an appointment for the plaintiff to see a cardiologist on 22 December. On 18 December, blood tests showed abnormal liver function, but a normal full blood count and thyroid function. Subsequently, Dr McCormick arranged for the plaintiff to be transferred to the Monash Medical Centre. The plaintiff had an echocardiogram on 19 December which showed a severely dilated left ventricle with severe reduction in systolic function, and by 12.30pm suffered an asystolic arrest of his heart, and was unconscious for ten minutes before spontaneous circulation was restored, and as a result suffered multi-organ failure and hypoxic brain damage.
The plaintiff argued that he had signs and symptoms that should have made it apparent to the defendants that he was seriously ill and required immediate assessment and had he been seen by a specialist physician or cardiologist and sent to a tertiary hospital on 14 or 15 December, it would be more probable than not that he would not have suffered the resulting injury.
The defendants denied that they were negligent in the care that they provided to the plaintiff. They argued that the relative lack of urgency in treating the plaintiff when he arrived at the Monash Medical Centre signified that he had not been so seriously ill to require urgent treatment.
Judge Hogan, in the County Court, found in favour of the plaintiff. The defendants were found to be in breach of section 58 of the Wrongs Act 1858 (Vic) ('WA') as they did not act with due care and that their negligence was a necessary condition of the occurrence of the harm suffered by the plaintiff (pursuant to section 51 of the WA).
Judge Hogan found that Dr McPherson should have taken a detailed history of the plaintiff particularly noting his difficulty in breathing and that had he properly observed the plaintiff's heart and respiratory rate and oxygen saturation, he would have seen that they were abnormal and indicators that the plaintiff was seriously unwell. Dr McPherson should have noted that the plaintiff required further investigation and assessment, and if this did not occur, he would probably become more seriously ill.
The Judge found that Dr McCormick should have obtained hospital notes prior to examining the plaintiff (but could not be satisfied that this had occurred between Dr McPherson and Dr McCormick on 15 December), and if he had done so, should have noticed the abnormal readings. Furthermore, it was reasonable to expect Dr McCormick to have taken the plaintiff's temperature, pulse, blood pressure and respiratory rates on 15 December, regardless of him having access to the hospital records, and if he had access this would have been more of a reason to check the plaintiff's vital signs. His history taking was also found to be deficient in that he failed to ascertain the circumstances where the plaintiff was having trouble breathing. Although the Judge found that Dr McCormick should not necessarily have diagnosed the plaintiff having cardiomyopathy, Dr McCormick should have recognised that he was very unwell, and although despite organising for the plaintiff to attend to a cardiologist five days later, such specialist assessment should have taken place immediately.
The Court will hear from the parties regarding costs and the quantum of damages agreed to by the parties at a later date.
National Health (Highly specialised drugs program for private hospitals) Special Arrangements Instrument 2010 (No. PB 64 of 2010) - F2010L01860 - Health - These Arrangements ensure that an adequate supply of special pharmaceutical products will be available to persons who are receiving treatment with highly specialised drugs at private hospitals as non-admitted patients, day admitted patients or patients on discharge.
National Health (Highly specialised drugs program for public hospitals) Special Arrangements Instrument 2010 (No. PB 63 of 2010) - F2010L01657 - Health - These Arrangements ensure that an adequate supply of special pharmaceutical products will be available to persons who are receiving treatment with highly specialised drugs at private hospitals as non-admitted patients, day admitted patients or patients on discharge.
National Health (Trastuzumab) Special Arrangements Instrument 2010 - F2010L01656 - Health - This instrument provides that an adequate supply of special pharmaceutical products will be available for persons who require treatment with the drug Trastuzumab.
Health Insurance (Eligible Collection Centres) Approval Principles 2010 - F2010L01765 - Health - These Principles revoke and replace the Health Insurance (Eligible Collection Centres) Approval Principles 2008 to remove the restrictions on the number of approvals of eligible collection centres that may be granted to an approved pathology authority.
National Health (Eligible midwives) Determination 2010 - F2010L01509 - Health - This Determination specifies the requirements that a midwife must meet in order to be an 'eligible midwife'.
New South Wales
Health Legislation Amendment Act 2010 No. 52 - assented to on 28/06/2010
Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2010 - private member's Bill, sponsored by Bob Such MP. - House of Assembly second reading 24 June 2010.
Australia. Department of Health & Ageing
- 01 July 2010 - style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%'>Draft Boundaries for Your Medicare Local The Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) have provided to Government an independent report they have commissioned suggesting potential geographic boundaries for primary health care organisations.
- 01 July 2010 - Funding for Better Services to Older Australians Starts to Flow - Older people across Australia will receive better aged care services with additional funding for services starting to flow from 1 July.
- 01 July 2010 - New Incentives will Bring Doctors to Rural and Regional Areas - Rural and regional families are set to benefit from more doctors in their communities as the Australian Government increases the rewards and incentives for doctors to move to these areas.
- 01 July 2010 - New Truck to Help Boost Dental Care in Central Australia - Adults and children in remote Aboriginal communities will benefit from funding from a new 4WD mobile dental truck, announced in Alice Springs by the Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon and NT minister for Health, Kon Vatskalis.
- 01 July 2010 - Previous Healthcare Identifiers Service Announcements - Previous 'what's new' announcements on the Healthcare Identifiers Service.
- 30 June 2010 - Government Announces BPA Baby Bottle Phase Out - Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler has announced the phase out by major retailers of baby bottles containing Bisphenol A (BPA).
- 30 June 2010 - Hospitals Busier Than Ever - The 2010 State of Our Public Hospitals report shows that our hospitals are busier than ever.
- 30 June 2010 - New Beds for Campbelltown Hospital - Australia's health and hospital reform is set to deliver an additional 20 beds to Campbelltown Hospital.
- 30 June 2010 - Promotion of Medicines and Medical Devices - The Australian Government has released a proposal for stronger self-regulation by the pharmaceutical and therapeutic goods industries for promotion of their products to doctors and health professionals.
Private Health Insurance Circular
- PHI 41/10 Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Amendment Rules 2010 (no. 3) and the Private Health Insurance (Complying Product) Amendment Rules 2010 (no. 2)
Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration
RFT 14/0910: Membership nominations for the TGA Therapeutic Products Assessment Panel (added maps & Brisbane information session venue)
Australia. Medical Board of Australia
Tuesday 29 June 2010 - Approved Programs of Study. - Australian Medical Council approved programs of study (pdf, 26kb) & Specialist quals for inclusion on specialist register (pdf, 49kb)
Australia. Physiotherapy Board of Australia
Tuesday 29 June - Guideline on Limited Registration - The Physiotherapy Board of Australia, under the authority of Glenn Ruscoe, Chair, has released a guideline on a Standard and Guidelines for Limited Registration of Physiotherapists. - Standard and guidelines on limited registration (pdf, 281kb)
Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council
Tracker - 25 June 2010
Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health
- $3.9 billion Budget for a Growing City passes the Legislative Assembly Katy Gallagher, MLA July 2 2010
- Record demand but Emergency Department waiting times continue to improve Katy Gallagher, MLA July 1 2010
- Get Healthy Service to be provided in the ACT Katy Gallagher, MLA July 1 2010
- $204,165 funding to Stay on Your Feet Katy Gallagher, MLA July 1 2010
- Security for building and construction contractor payments Katy Gallagher, MLA June 30 2010
- Free whooping cough vaccine for parents and grandparents to continue Katy Gallagher, MLA June 30 2010
- Red Noses save kids' lives Katy Gallagher, MLA June 25 2010
New South Wales. Department of Health
- Towards a Normal Birth [01 July 2010]
- More beds for John Hunter[30 June 2010]
- More beds for Maitland Hospital [30 June 2010]
- More beds and services for Northern Sydney [30 June 2010]
Policy directives & guidelines
- Seminars - Participation in External Seminars PD2010_046 02/07/2010
- Public Health Real-time Emergency Dept Surveillance System (PHREDSS) Public Health Unit Response GL2010_009 01/07/2010
- Maternity - Towards Normal Birth in NSW PD2010_045 29/06/2010
- Oral Health Referral Form for Medical Emergency Departments GL2010_008 29/06/2010
- Newborn & Paediatric Emergency Transport Services (NETS) Charges PD2010_043 28/06/2010
- Ambulance Service Charges PD2010_042 28/06/2010
- Fees for Hospital and Other Services - Charging Arrangements PD2010_044 28/06/2010
- Junior Medical Staff Recruitment for Clinical Year 2011 in the NSW Public Health System PD2010_041 28/06/2010
- Notification of Obsolete Policy Directives and Guidelines IB2010_031 30/06/2010
- Lifetime Care & Support Scheme (LTCS Scheme) - Schedule of Fees IB2010_030 29/06/2010
- Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program - Schedule of Fees IB2010_029 29/06/2010
- Health Services Act 1997 - Scale of Fees for Hospital & Other Services IB2010_028 28/06/2010
Northern Territory. Department of Health & Community Services
- Kon Vatskalis - Jimmy Little Launches New Renal Resource - Health Minister Kon Vatskalis joined iconic Australian entertainer Jimmy Little in launching an important education tool designed to educate Territorians living in Aboriginal communities about renal disease.
Queensland. Department of Health
South Australia. Department of Health
- New ambulances for South Australia - Wednesday, 30 June 2010 - Health Minister John Hill has announced that 53 ambulances from the SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) fleet have been replaced this year, with another five in commission. "This financial year, we've allocated $6 million to the continuing roll out of SAAS' new fleet of ambulances." Minister Hill said. Read more...
- Helping SA's young artists and performers - Monday, 28 June 2010 - Over $100,000 has been allocated in grants to support youth arts and music in South Australia. Project and Development Grant funds totalling $51,840 have been awarded to 14 individuals and organisations for projects in the second half of this year. Read more...
- Loxton Hospital wins fourth 'Baby Friendly Hospital' accreditation - 28 June 2010 - Loxton Hospital has received its fourth consecutive 'baby friendly' accreditation. Read more...
Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services
St Helens Water Quality - 29 Jun 2010
Victoria. Department of Health
- BRUMBY GOVERNMENT DELIVERS 297 ADDITIONAL PARAMEDICS FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL VICTORIANS Published : - 30/06/2010
- ATHERTON GARDENS FAMILY AND CHILDREN'S HUB LAUNCHED Published : - 29/06/2010
- WYNNE GIVES RICHMOND GARDENERS THE GREEN THUMBS UP Published : - 29/06/2010
- NATION BUILDING PROJECT GIVES FAMILY FRESH START Published : - 29/06/2010
- ANOTHER MILESTONE REACHED FOR SEYMOUR Published : - 29/06/2010
- HEALTHY EATING INITIATIVE HELPS FIGHT DIABETES EPIDEMIC Published : - 29/06/2010
- NEW BOOST FOR WORLD-CLASS PARKVILLE CANCER CENTRE Published : - 27/06/2010
- DOORS OPEN FOR NEW TIMBOON AMBULANCE STATION Published : - 25/06/2010
Patients get fit for a heart transplant - 25 June 2010 - A new exercise trial for left ventricular assist device patients is testing whether increased fitness training will put them in a better position before and after heart transplant.
Better Health Channel is number one again - 25 June 2010 - The Better Health Channel is Australia's number one health website for the second consecutive year.
Hospital circular - Publication Number 16 / 2010 - 29 June 2010 - Date Issued: 28 June 2010 - Subject: Highly Specialised Drugs Program
Western Australia. Department of Health
- WA performs well in The State of Our Public Hospitals report
29 Jun 2010 - Barnett: Rehabilitation facility to get purpose-built accommodation with $4.2million grant
- 29 Jun 2010- Waldron: Action required for healthy weight
New Zealand. Ministry of Health
1 Jul: Credentialing Framework for New Zealand Health Professionals This updated framework details the credentialing process for medical practitioners and health professionals in all New Zealand health and disability services, both public and private.
1 Jul: Cancer: New Registrations and Deaths 2007 This annual statistical publication collates and analyses data on primary malignant tumour cases diagnosed in New Zealand, as reported to the New Zealand Cancer Registry.
30 Jun: Invitation to comment on draft documents for Advance Care Planning - The Ministry of Health and Hospice New Zealand have developed two draft documents for Advance Care Planning in New Zealand.
30 Jun: Hospital-based Maternity Events 2006 - This publication provides information on the numbers of women who have gave birth in hospital; and the number of live born babies that were born either in hospital or born prior to their mother's admission to hospital (usually following birth outside hospital) in the 2006 calendar year.
Australian Medical Association
Coalition commitment on mental health 30 June 2010 - 12:55pm - The AMA welcomes the Coalition's substantial funding commitment on mental health services, including much needed funding for additional acute and sub-acute mental health beds.
Healthcare identifiers to kickstart e-health implementation 25 June 2010 - 1:15pm - AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the AMA is pleased that the Healthcare Identifiers legislation has been passed by the Parliament and now looks forward to an acceleration of the implementation of e-Health programs in Australia. Dr Pesce said healthcare identifiers are an important building block for electronic health records.
GP Network News Issue10, Number 21 - 25 June 2010 25 June 2010 - 4:00pm - Supporting family doctors – AMA listening tour; AMA member survey: new diabetes scheme; GPs get extra support to train new GPs; Time to put focus on links between alcohol and cancer; Members recognised in Queen's Birthday honours list
Doctors' engagement in the management of hospitals - 2010 25 June 2010 - 3:00pm - The management of hospitals works best when doctors are engaged in clinical and corporate governance. The AMA has developed a detailed policy as a basis for effective and genuine doctor engagement in hospital management.
British Medical Association
Medics vote to ban homeopathy from NHS - Doctors leader says remedies are 'nonsense on stilts'
Cut market not care, doctors urge - 'Listen to the views of frontline health professionals', experts tell government
Doctors demand end to 'irresponsible' screening adverts - Direct marketing of private health screening tests exploits vulnerable people, says BMA
Summary care records damned with faint praise - Review shows benefits are 'subtle, hard to articulate and difficult to isolate'
BMA helps member win £50,000 back pay - A former associate specialist in orthodontics secures payout from hospital
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