Australia: Health Alert - 16 May 2011

Last Updated: 17 May 2011
Article by Michael Regos

16 May 2011

Welcome to this week's edition of Health Alert.  The Health Alert is transmitted on Monday of each week (unless there is a public holiday on Monday).

Health Alert is a summary of the critical judgments, legislation, press releases and news items which have come to our attention each week.  Many of the summaries will contain a hyperlink.

If an item is of special interest, we may insert commentary into the body of Health Alert.  However in general, Health Alert is a quick and effective means of ensuring that you are aware of significant recent changes with little or no commentary from us.

If you would like to include a colleague or contact on our distribution list, or be removed from the list and not receive further issues from us, please contact Legal Updates at with the relevant contact details.

The DLA Piper Health Team 



Health Insurance (Diagnostic Imaging Capital Sensitivity) Determination 2011

Health Insurance (Duplex Scanning for Erectile Dysfunction) Amendment Determination 2011 (No. 1)

New South Wales



Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

Administrative Review of the National Blood Arrangements (2009) - The 2009 Review is an administrative review, focusing on governance issues and implementation of the 2003 National Blood Agreement (the Agreement). It is not a review of clinical issues or consumer perspectives.

Aged care - 02 May 2011 - Release of a Virtual Visiting Resource Kit.

Private Health Insurance Circulars

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

Relocation of NHMRC National Institute of Clinical Studies 12 May 2011 - The National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) be moving tomorrow, Friday 13 May. NICS will remain in its current building but will consolidate into a single office on the 1st floor of the Fawkner Centre at 499 St Kilda Road in Melbourne. Read full notice

Building Research Translation 12 May 2011 - Senior clinical researchers involved in research translation met recently to discuss a NHMRC proposal for a National Network of NHMRC-funded clinical researchers and centres. A Communiqué and Papers presented at the workshop are now available. Read full notice

CEO Update: Outcomes of the 2011-12 Budget for the NHMRC -10 May 2011 - a brief overview of the outcomes from the Federal Budget of 10 May 2011.  These outcomes affect the range of activities undertaken by NHMRC, across its research funding, evidence translation and health advice functions. Read full notice

A Guide to Direct Research Costs 9 May 2011 - NHMRC has developed a guide for researchers and administrative staff on what constitutes Direct Costs of Research. This guide was approved by Research Committee in December 2010. Further information

Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Health Services and Policy Research call for grant applications 9 May 2011 - Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR) and the Office for Patient-Oriented Research are planning to call for grant applications in October 2011 on Community-Based Primary Healthcare (CBPH). - Further information (DOC, 24KB)

Tracker – 06 May 2011 edition

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

12 May 2011 - Regulatory and Technical Consultative Forum for medical devices (RegTech Forum) - The RegTech Forum is established as a consultative forum to facilitate consultation between the TGA and the medical devices industry

11 May 2011 - Streamlined submission process for prescription medicines - Added information about workshops being held in Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney in June

11 May 2011 - Way cleared for improved access to generic medicines - Media release from the Hon Catherine King MP

6 May 2011 - The TGA's risk management approach - Describes the broad risk management approach adopted by the TGA

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - The Indigenous observatory - (4 May 2011) ( media release)

Housing and homelessness services: access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (13 May 2011) ( media release)

Dementia among aged care residents: first information from the Aged Care Funding Instrument (12 May 2011) ( media release)

Mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification in Australia and New Zealand: baseline report for monitoring (11 May 2011)

Australia. Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

Quarterly Bulletin 58  - The bulletin for 1 January to 31 March 2011 is now online.

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

04 May 11-Reappointment of Council Members-CURRENT EDITION-11/08

Australia. Medical Board of Australia

Meeting of the Medical Board of Australia - 27 April 2011 (143 KB,PDF) 

Australia. Psychology Board of Australia

Renewal period now open for NSW & WA psychologists - 09 May 2011

Australia. Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia

Board congratulates professions on job well done - 12 May 2011
Two thirds of nurses and midwives due to renew reg... - 04 May 2011

Australia. Optometry Board of Australia

Expressions of Interest Board Nominee for OCANZ - 10 May 2011

Communique from the Board - 10 May 2011

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

On the Radar - Issue 39

Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

New South Wales. Department of Health

Media releases

Policy directives & guidelines

Information bulletins

Queensland. Department of Health

Mosquito borne disease in Queensland - site updated

Clinical Governance for Nurse Practitioners in Queensland - A Guide

Media releases

Northern Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

Mortality in the Northern Territory 1967-2006

South Australia. Department of Health

Emergency departments are for emergencies - During the winter months, South Australian metropolitan emergency departments experience an increase in demand for their services. For this reason, South Australians are encouraged to remember that emergency departments are for emergencies. If you or someone you know is not feeling well, call healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 or make an appointment with your local general practitioner (GP) for non-urgent medical assistance during the busy winter period. However if the situation is urgent or life threatening, you should call 000 immediately or go directly to an emergency department for assistance. Emergency department television video clip (MOV 3.94MB) - Emergency department television video clip (MPG 5.96MB) - Video clip transcript

Media releases

  • Mount Gambier Hospital prepares for growth  - Thursday, 12 May 2011 - Health Minister John Hill says the successful bid for Federal funds for Mount Gambier Hospital will result in a bigger, better hospital offering more services to more people in the South East. Read more...
  • Federal funding boost for SA country hospitals - Monday, 09 May 2011 - Health Minister John Hill has welcomed the Commonwealth Government's investment of an additional $82 million for country health and hospitals in South Australia. Read more...
  • SA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards night  - Saturday, 07 May 2011 - More than twenty nurses and midwives were honoured last night at the 2011 Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards. Read more...

Victoria. Department of Health

Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022: Metropolitan Health Plan - The Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022: Metropolitan Health Plan (the Health Plan) articulates the long-term planning and development priorities for Victoria's health services throughout the next decade. The Health Plan focuses on Melbourne's health system and is supported by a companion document, the Metropolitan Health Plan – Technical Paper. Together, these two documents detail the priorities, directions and implementation actions that will transform Melbourne's health system.  The Metropolitan Health Plan is only the first step of this state wide approach. The Rural and Regional Health Plan 2012-2022 will be released later this year. It will provide a comprehensive plan for the state wide development of Victoria's rural and regional services.  The Health Capital and Resources Plan 2012-2022, also to be release later this year, will articulate a detailed plan for infrastructure and assets, workforce, ICT and health and medical research. - Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022: Metropolitan Health Plan - Metropolitan Health Plan Technical Paper

Aboriginal Health e-bulletin - 11 May 2011

Blood Transfusion: Have all your questions been answered?

Frequently asked questions regarding blood transfusions

Laboratory Staff: Key Transfusion Messages

Medical Staff: Key Transfusion Messages

Nursing Staff: Key Transfusion Messages

Storage of blood products posters

Audit of blood transfusion policy, procedures and administration practice 2011

Media releases

  • Honouring Victoria's dedicated nurses and midwives  - Thursday, 12 May 2011  -   Health - Minister for Health David Davis today paid tribute to the more than 90,000 nurses and midwives who work or have worked in health services and aged care facilities in Victoria. To mark International Nurses Day and the International Day of the Midwife, Mr. Davis visited St Vincent's Hospital where he shared breakfast with nurses and thanked them for their ongoing care and professionalism.
  • Increasing awareness of incontinence in Victoria's ethnic communities  - Thursday, 12 May 2011 - Health Ageing - Victoria's vast ethnic communities will receive new resources to help them better understand the causes and treatments of incontinence as they age. Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis today officially launched the Awareness of Incontinence in Ethnic Communities Report in Preston.
  • Ballarat helipad implementation meeting  - Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - Health - The Ballarat helipad implementation group had its first meeting this morning in Ballarat. The group is chaired by Western Victoria MP David Koch, and Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay is also a member.

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services

Media releases

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

New maternity support unit for Aboriginal mothers and babies

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

Nursing: A truly 21st century profession - 12 May 2011 - "Nursing is consistently one of New Zealand's most trusted professions, but many people don't fully realise how complex and diverse the work done by modern nurses is." That comment from Andrew Bridgman - the Acting Director General of Health comes on International Nurses Day, which is marked around the world each year on Florence Nightingale's birthday – May 12. Read more

Big jump in Pacific Health Workforce Awards continues - 6 May 2011 - The big jump in numbers of Pacific scholarships awarded to students studying for health qualifications continues this year. More than 200 scholarships have been awarded this year with 120 awards handed out to those recipients able to attend in person the ceremony in Auckland today.  That's slightly up on the number of scholarships awarded last year. Ministry of Health Clinical Director Pacific Health Dr Api Talemaitoga says the number of scholarships awarded is a great boost for the country's Pacific workforce. Read more

United Kingdom. Department of Health

Evaluation of nurse and pharmacist independent prescribing in England - key findings and executive summary

Governance arrangements for research ethics committees: a harmonised edition

Patient Level Information and Costing Systems (PLICS), and Reference Costs Best Practice Guide

Dental Quality and Outcomes Framework

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) data standard: letter from Bruce Calderwood - Director Mental Health & Disability and Brian Derry - Director NHS Information Centre

The month: issue 42, April 2011

United States. Department of Health & Human Services

New Viral Hepatitis Action Plan - HHS' new action plan to prevent and treat viral hepatitis outlines comprehensive actions to raise awareness; and creates more opportunities to train health professionals to diagnose, treat, vaccinate, and ultimately save lives. The plan builds upon the Affordable Care Act to improve patient access to comprehensive viral hepatitis-related prevention and treatment services through expanded coverage. Learn more.

United States. Centres for Disease Control

Statement by CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., on Early End of HPTN 052 Study - CDC welcomes the report today from NIH that early HIV treatment can dramatically reduce the risk that an HIV-positive person will transmit the virus to their heterosexual partner. The study, known as HPTN 052, showed that early initiation of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-positive people who were heterosexual led to a dramatic reduction in HIV transmission to the HIV-uninfected partner.  (Published: 5/12/2011)

Australian Medical Association

Launch of AMA Indigenous Health Report Card 2010-11 - 12 May 2011 - Best Practice in Primary Health Care for Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders Treasury Place, Melbourne
2.30pm, Friday 13 May 2011 read more

Budget makes it more expensive for people to see their family doctor for mental health care - AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said tonight that people will now have to pay more to see their family doctor for vital mental health care, advice, and referrals. Dr Pesce said that the Government has dramatically devalued the role of the family doctor in managing community mental health by slashing the MBS patient rebate for GP Mental Health Plans to help fund its belated catch-up mental health package.

© DLA Phillips Fox

DLA Phillips Fox is one of the largest legal firms in Australasia and a member of DLA Piper Group, an alliance of independent legal practices. It is a separate and distinct legal entity. For more information visit

This publication is intended as a first point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances.

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