21 February 2011
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The DLA Phillips Fox Health Team
Victoria. Coroners Court of Victoria
This interim coronial ruling concerned the causes of the deaths of four residents of the Broughton Hall Nursing Home following an outbreak of gastroenteritis. The Coroners Court heard submissions from counsel for the nursing home and from counsel assisting the coroner regarding the legal test for causation of death in the coronial context, as opposed to the civil or criminal law.
State Coroner, Judge Coate referred to the South Australian Supreme Court case of Saraf v Johns in holding that causation will be established where something plays a sufficient and material part in the death under investigation to warrant being acknowledged by a reasonable and competent medical practitioner on the death certificate as a contributing cause.
All four deceased were found to have gastroenteritis as at least an antecedent cause, which contributed in a material way to their deaths. Accordingly the deaths were ordered to remain part of the coronial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
New South Wales. Nurses & Midwives Tribunal
This Nurses and Midwives Tribunal of NSW decision concerned a complaint that a registered nurse's conviction of wilful and obscene exposure in public rendered him unfit to practice as a nurse. Throughout the tribunal hearing, the nurse continued to deny that he had masturbated in a car park, despite a court finding to that effect.
The tribunal ruled that it had to determine whether the nurse was unfit as of the date of the hearing, rather than as at the date of commission of the offence. It viewed the nurse's consistent denial of the offence as a factor to be taken into consideration when determining fitness to practice. However, non admission was held to not be sufficient to lead to a finding of unfitness to practice. It noted that the offence was not committed within the practice of nursing and that the nurse had cooperated with police and complied with his good behaviour bond.
The Tribunal ended by noting that it is not the fact that a nurse has committed a crime, but the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, which influence determinations regarding fitness. The unlikelihood of the nurse reoffending and the lack of any underlying pathology led the tribunal to find that the requisite standard for proving unfitness and a lack of good character were not established.
Australia. Council of Australian Governments
Australian Health Ministers' Conference
Australia. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Australia. Department of Health & Ageing
Prime Minister, Minister for Health announces National Health Reform - The Prime Minister and the Minister for Health have announced a new deal delivering national health reform that will last, built on a genuine partnership between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.
- 18 February 2011- Discuss Giving Life During Donatelife Week-Australia's first national DonateLife Week has been launched by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.
- 17 February 2011- Australian Health Ministers' Conference Communique-The Australian Health Ministers' Conference met in Hobart on 17 February 2011
- 17 February 2011- Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council Communique-The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council met in Hobart on 17 February 2011
- 17 February 2011- Seeking Indigenous Runners for New York Marathon-Outstanding natural long-distance runners are being sought to join Rob de Castella's Indigenous Marathon Project and run in this year's world-famous New York City Marathon.
- 16 February 2011- Better Training of Health Professionals for Tasmanians-Health students at the University of Tasmania will now have better access to clinical training through a new Commonwealth-funded IT management system, to be run in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services.
- 16 February 2011- Call for e-health partners -Personally controlled electronic health records are a step closer following the call for partners to help develop the system.
- 16 February 2011- Clarence GP Super Clinic Moves Closer to Completion-Better coordinated healthcare for the Clarence community is on its way, said the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, while inspecting the Clarence GP Super Clinic construction site.
- 16 February 2011- Members Sought for Preventive Health Advisory Council-Individuals with expertise in preventive health are invited to express their interest in joining a new national advisory council to tackle chronic disease.
- 15 February 2011- Health Reform Delivering for Patients at Royal Melbourne-Elective surgery patients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital are already benefiting from the Australian Government's investment in national health reform.
- 14 February 2011- Adelaide GP Super Clinic a Step Closer-Adelaide residents and health professionals have shared ideas about the best options for the GP Super Clinic in central Adelaide.
- 14 February 2011- Cancer Centre Start a Reward for Community Effort-The hard work and commitment of the people of Ballarat and region has been rewarded with the official start of construction on the new $56.5 million Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.
- 14 February 2011- Community Input Sought on Mt Barker GP Super Clinic -Residents and health professionals from the Mt Barker area have been invited to share ideas about the best options for their local GP Super Clinic.
- 14 February 2011- Construction Set to Start for Bundaberg GP Super Clinic -The Bundaberg region is a step closer to getting a GP Super Clinic with construction set to start following the announcement of the builder who has won the contract to construct the new facility.
- 14 February 2011- Grants to Support new and Established Men's Sheds -Older and disadvantaged men in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia will soon have more help to meet and find social support with Australian Government Grants for Men's Sheds.
- 12 February 2011- Better Aged Care Services for Older Australians from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds-Older Australians of non-English-speaking backgrounds will benefit from better access to aged care services that meet their needs following a call for applications for funding under the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care Program.
Private Health Insurance Circulars
- PHI 15/11 - Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Amendment Rules 2011 (No. 1)
- PHI 14/11 - Prostheses List Application Workshops 2011
- PHI 13/11 - Private Health Insurance Branch Changes
- PHI 12/11 - Amendment to the Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Rules 2011 (No. 1)
Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council
11/04 17 January 2011 Updated phiac1 validation now available on PHIAC website CURRENT EDITION 11/04
11/03 17 January 2011 Fluctuation in Risk Equalisation - December quarter 2010 and March quarter 2011 CURRENT EDITION 11/03
Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration
Australian Public Assessment Report (AusPAR) for prescription medicines (updated) - Colistimethate sodium - Tocilizumab
Australian Public Assessment Report (AusPAR) for prescription medicines (updated) - Pancreatic extract - Tapentadol - Trastuzumab
Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
AHPRA welcomes outcome of Health Ministers Council - 18 Feb 2011 Statement from AHPRA
Update on Lapsed Practitioners - 11 Feb 2011
Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health
An increase in the incidence of pertussis has been observed in the ACT over the last six months. A similar increase has been observed in NSW. Current information on numbers of cases can be found on the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System website. The NSW Health website also contains some important information about preventing the spread of pertussis. - Whooping Cough (Pertussis) (17 February, 2011)
A Local Hospital Network for the ACT (14 February 2011) - The way forward - provides the outcomes of discussions, the public consultation process, and maps the journey for the ACT.
- $3.3 million Chifley health hub officially opened Katy Gallagher, MLA February 11 2011
New South Wales. Department of Health
Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Meeting - Message from the Director General of NSW Health.
- Chaplains Subsidy PD2011_013 15/02/2011
- Recruitment and Selection of Staff of the NSW Health Service PD2011_012 11/02/2011
- United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW - Subsidy to Delegates Attending the Annual General Conference IB2011_007 17/02/2011
- Withdrawal of Guideline - Grievance Resolution in the NSW Department of Health IB2011_008 17/02/2011
Northern Territory. Department of Health & Families
- Back to business, but take precautions around floodwater - 17 February 2011 - People in the Top End are being warned to exercise a high level of caution around floodwater because of the risk of contamination from sewage and other hazards.
- Media alert: Elective surgery restarts at Royal Darwin Hospital - 17 February 2011 - As weather conditions following Cyclone Carlos have eased, some elective surgery previously postponed will now take place at Royal Darwin Hospital tomorrow.
- Health Alert: Exercise Extreme Caution Around Floodwaters - 16 February 2011 - The Department of Health has issued urgent advice for people in the Top End to exercise a high level of caution around flooded waterways, including creeks, recreational areas and roads.
- Water Boil Alert issued for Belyuen - 16 February 2011 - A precautionary advice for drinking water (water boil alert) was issued today for Belyuen following the high winds and rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone Carlos. The Department of Health today confirmed that due to power outages water was not able to be delivered to the community from a secure supply.
- Water Boil Alert issued for the Tiwi Islands 16 February 2011 - A precautionary advice for drinking water (water boil alert) was issued today for the Tiwi Islands Communities following the high winds and rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone Carlos.
- Paul Henderson - Northern Territory Government Secures Record Health Deal - Chief Minister Paul Henderson said all Territorians would benefit from the national health reform deal signed by the country's leaders yesterday's meeting of Council of Australian Government's in Canberra.
Queensland. Department of Health
South Australia. Department of Health
- 17 Feb 11 Whyalla Country General Hospital 10 year health service plan released
- 17 Feb 11 Port Lincoln Country General Hospital 10 year health service plan released
- 17 Feb 11 Mount Gambier Country General Hospital 10 year health service plan released
- 17 Feb 11 Riverland Country General Hospital 10 year health service plan released
- Country General Hospitals plan for the future - Wednesday, 16 February 2011 - Community-led plans charting the next decade for four of South Australia's major country hospitals have been released. Read more...
- Blackwood Hospital meeting - Wednesday, 16 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill has met with the administrators of the Blackwood and District Community Hospital for an update on the next steps for the former employees and creditors. Read more...
- Nurse practitioner scholarships awarded - Saturday, 12 February 2011 - Forty nurses have been awarded scholarships to study for Masters degrees to become Nurse Practitioners. Read more...
- Bigger better emergency dept for Berri - Wednesday, 09 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill says Riverland locals and visitors will benefit from the expansion and refurbishment of the Riverland Regional Hospital's emergency department. Read more...
- Private country hospitals - Tuesday, 08 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill has updated Parliament on progress to secure a long-term financial future for private country hospitals in Keith, Moonta and Ardrossan. Read more...
- Health performance council report - Tuesday, 08 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill has tabled in Parliament the first report by the Health Performance Council (HPC) into the public health system in South Australia. Read more...
- Barossa health service business case - Tuesday, 08 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill has tabled in Parliament the business case for the development of a new 40 bed hospital in the Barossa Valley. Read more...
- New units mean faster treatment - Thursday, 03 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill has opened a new 30-bed Acute Medical Unit (AMU) and an expanded Intensive and Critical Care Unit (ICCU) at Flinders Medical Centre. Read more...
- Giant crane gets to work on new institute - Wednesday, 02 February 2011 - Health Minister John Hill will be on site at the new South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute as the next phase of work begins. Read more...
Victoria. Department of Health
Health Victoria. February 2011 - Read latest edition
Pertussis epidemic - Chief Health Officer Advisory for health professionals - In the past two years, the incidence of pertussis in Victoria has increased dramatically, with 1673 cases notified in 2008, 3741 cases in 2009 and 6736 cases in 2010. (17 Feb 2011)
Extension of 'Interim Approval' to practice as a nurse immuniser - The nurse immuniser interim 'Approval' under regulation 5(3) Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006 is now extended to 30 June 2011. This replaces the 'Approval' signed by the Delegate of the Secretary, Department of Health, 29 June 2010. http://www.health.vic.gov.au/immunisation/resources/nurse-immuniser-information
New Zealand. Mental Health Commission
United Kingdom. Department of Health
Analysis report on the 2009 consultation on the statutory regulation of practitioners of acupuncture, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and other traditional medicine systems practised in the UK
Canada. Health Canada
United States of America. Department of Health & Human Services
HHS releases new strategic plan to advance vaccine and immunization science and policy for the next decade - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today unveiled a new National Vaccine Plan to enhance coordination of all aspects of federal vaccine and immunization activities. Its goal is to ensure that all Americans can access the preventive benefits of vaccines.
BARDA Supports Development of Drugs to Protect Against Radiation - Two contracts for advanced development of drugs to treat skin and lung injuries associated with acute radiation syndrome (ARS) were awarded this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Health and Human Services Launches Health Indicators Warehouse to Support Innovation - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a new web portal providing important health and health care indicator data to support innovations in information technology.
United States of America. Centres for Disease Control
Latest Report on Nation's Health Released - 'Health, United States, 2010,' the 34th annual report prepared by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics is now available at www.cdc.gov/nchs. The report includes a compilation of health data from state and federal health agencies as well as an in-depth feature section on death and dying. (Published: 2/16/2011)
Australian Medical Association
Health Ministers acknowledge big problems with AHPRA and national registration - 17 February 2011 - 5:47pm - AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the AMA welcomes the acknowledgement by Health Ministers that there are significant administrative problems with the new Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency (AHPRA) that must be urgently fixed. Dr Pesce said the AHPRA problems have had a significant impact on doctors and their patients. "Some doctors have had to stop working until their registration has been reinstated, and patients have been unable to claim Medicare rebates because their doctors were suddenly unregistered due to AHPRA processes," Dr Pesce said.
AMA Submission to DoHA on the Role and Governance of Lead Clinician Groups - 17 February 2011 - 3:00pm - The AMA made a submission on the role and governance of Lead Clinician Groups to the Department of Health and Ageing in response to a discussion paper released on 25 January 2011. The AMA strongly opposes the limited role for doctors described in the discussion paper. The AMA's submission provides a model for Lead Clinician Groups that ensures doctors are involved in decisions made at the local hospital level about resource allocation, service planning and provision, and patient care.
Local Lead Clinician Groups - 2011 - 17 February 2011 - 3:00pm - Medical practitioners (doctors involved in patient care) have long held concerns that decisions about how health services are delivered and resources for health services are allocated, are made without proper advice from the medical profession. Over time, decisions about the allocation and use of health resources have shifted away from doctors, and away from where care is delivered. Consequently, Australia's health system is not responsive to local needs, and opportunities to improve clinical safety and quality are lost. The establishment of Lead Clinician Groups will ensure medical practitioners have a role in the stewardship of health care resources. This position statement focuses on how Lead Clinician Groups will operate at a local level. AMA policy on national Lead Clinician Groups will be developed when more detail is available on their proposed role and interaction with other national guideline development bodies. The structure of Lead Clinician Groups, the governance arrangements underpinning them and their relationship with government decision-making bodies will be critical to their effectiveness in supporting and guiding policy and decision makers in shaping the future of the Australian health system.
AMA sets priorities for strong investment in the health system - 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Releasing the AMA Federal Budget Submission, AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the Government should use this year's Budget to make overdue significant investment in key areas of the health system. Dr Pesce said that, even though economic and fiscal conditions are putting pressure on Commonwealth spending, there is no better investment that governments can make than in the health of the nation. "While we have areas of excellence in our health system, we also have many areas where we should and could be doing a lot better," Dr Pesce said.
Health prevention priorities 16 February 2011 - 9:30pm - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Health prevention priorities
Climate change and health 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Climate change and health
E-health 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: E-health
Rural health 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Rural health
Non-vocationally registered GPs 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Non-vocationally registered GPs
Other GP priorities: [after-hours services; practice nurse funding; GP-referred MRI; and Point-of-Care Testing (PoCT)] 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Other GP priorities [after-hours services; practice nurse funding; GP-referred MRI; and Point-of-Care Testing (PoCT)]
Chronic disease management 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Chronic disease management
GP infrastructure 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: GP infrastructure
Aged care 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Aged care
Health and medical research 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Health and medical research
Workforce and training 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Workforce and training
Long-term care and disability support 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Long-term care and disability support
Health financing 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Health financing
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Mental health 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Mental health
Public hospitals 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Public hospitals
Federal Budget Submission 2011-12: Health – the best investment that governments can make 16 February 2011 - 9:30am - The AMA Budget Submission identifies areas where additional investment in health care and health infrastructure is needed and should be considered in the forthcoming Federal Budget. The AMA does not suggest that the answer to every question is to spend more. We have identified areas where the Government can spend more effectively.
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