Australia: Health Alert: Australian judgments, legislation and media releases

Last Updated: 26 October 2011
Article by Mark Williams

New South Wales. Nursing & Midwifery Tribunal

HCCC V DEANO [2011] NSWNMT 27 (14 October 2011)

This New South Wales Nursing and Midwifery Tribunal case involved an inquiry into complaints against a nurse regarding unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct within the meaning of sections 139B and 139E of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW).

The nurse was employed as a registered nurse in the Medical Assessment Unit of the Concord Repatriation and General Hospital. It was alleged that during her employment the nurse had demonstrated knowledge, skill, judgement or care significantly below the standard reasonably expected of a nurse of equivalent training and/or experience and was guilty of improper or unethical conduct relating to the practice of nursing.

The particulars of the complaints included that the nurse regularly slept in empty patient beds in the ward while on night shift, took longer breaks than she was entitled to and allowed and encouraged other nurses to do the same. It was further alleged that the nurse had signed a medication chart for a patient that she had not administered or witnessed being administered, had contravened the relevant poisons legislation and departmental policy by leaving a key to the schedule eight drug cabinet in a draw throughout her shifts and had attempted to influence the evidence that a junior colleague would give in relation to the investigation of these matters.

The tribunal was reasonably satisfied that the complaints of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct were proven and that the nurse's registration should be cancelled. Costs were awarded to the complainant.

New South Wales. Psychologists Tribunal

CAMACHO V PSYCHOLOGY COUNCIL OF NSW [2011] NSWPST 1 (30 September 2011)

This Psychology Tribunal of New South Wales decision concerned an inquiry into an appeal by the appellant in relation to a decision of the Psychology Council of New South Wales. The appellant had engaged in criminal conduct involving the presentation of 260 invoices to WorkCover for consultations that did not actually occur between and around 2005 to 2007. The appellant pleaded guilty and was convicted of 13 counts of obtaining money by deception under sections 17BA and 344A of the Crimes Act 1900 and was sentenced on 1 July 2010 to 250 hours of community service plus a fine of $10,000.

The complaint before the tribunal alleged that the appellant's conduct constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct within the meaning of section 25(a) of the Psychology Act 2001. The tribunal was satisfied that the appellant's conduct demonstrated that the judgment possessed by the appellant was significantly below the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience. Therefore the tribunal was satisfied that unsatisfactory professional conduct was proven and suspended the appellant's registration.

However, the tribunal declined to de-register the appellant, referring to relevant factors including that the appellant had pleaded guilty at an early stage, had made reparation, had admitted to unsatisfactory professional conduct and was willing to have conditions imposed on his registration. The Tribunal was of the view that, provided the appellant maintains good mental health, he would not be likely to commit any similar offences in the future.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Medical Board of Australia v Skehan (Occupational and Business Regulation List) (No 2) [2011] VCAT 1935 (12 October 2011)

Medical practitioner – transgression of ethical boundaries with female patient – inappropriate personal and emotional relationship – likely sexual activity – doctor obtaining a financial advantage to which he was not entitled – inappropriate sexual relationship with former patient – failure to exercise the skill and care of a reasonably competent medical practitioner and dishonesty in record keeping concerning the patient's husband – breaches of the Medical Practice Act 1994 (Vic) and the Health Professions Registration Act 2005 (Vic) – unprofessional conduct of a serious nature – professional misconduct – cancellation of registration and disqualification for 18 months

LEGISLATION

Commonwealth

National Health Reform Amendment (National Health Performance Authority) Act 2011 - C2011A00109 " Act No. 109 of 2011 as made

Private Health Insurance (Complying Product) Amendment Rules 2011 (No. 6) - F2011L02091 " as made

National Health Reform Amendment (National Health Performance Authority) Act 2011 proclamation - F2011L02089 " as made

Health Insurance (Bone Densitometry) Determination 2011 - F2011L02082 as made

Tasmania

Public Health Amendment Bill 56 of 2011

Tasmanian Health Organisations Bill 58 of 2011

Mental Health Amendment Bill 57 of 2011

Victoria

Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Prohibition of Display and Sale of Cannabis Water Pipes) Act 2011 - Assent: 18/10/2011

REPORTS

Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

Circular 11/18 — Oct 18, 2011 -The Private Health Insurance Administration Council has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to establish a stronger framework for cooperation between the agencies.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

ACCC grants interim authorisation to CALMS fee cap schedule- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to the Canbe...Issued: Issued: 20 October 2011 Release # NR 196/11

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Information for medical and pharmacy interns with provisional registration seeking general registration - 20/10/2011 | Read Article

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

Trends in palliative care in Australian hospitals (19 Oct 2011)

Identifying palliative care separations in admitted patient data (19 Oct 2011)

Asthma in Australia 2011 (17 Oct 2011)

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

17 October 2011 - $673.3 Million for Biggest Ever Investment in Health and Medical Research - The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler today announced the single largest investment in grants for health and medical research in Australian history. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. This investment, through the National Health and Medical Research Council, will ensure that Australia continues to expand the frontiers of health and medical research....See full media release...

17 October 2011 - $47 Million in Health and Medical Research Funding to Meet the Challenges of Ageing - Health and medical research into dementia, Parkinson's disease, bone disease and other major age-related conditions will benefit from $47 million in Australian Government funding, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler said today. Mr Butler today announced funding for 93 National Health and Medical Research grants focused on ageing. "The Gillard Labor Government is committed to improving the health and quality of life for our older Australians. One of the key... See full media release...

17 October 2011 - $39.8 Million in Health and Medical Research to Help Close the Gap - The Gillard Labor Government will fund $39.8 million of health and medical research towards improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler and the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon today announced 53 National Health and Medical Research grants focused on Indigenous health. "Closing the gap in life expectancy and quality of life for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is... See full media release...

17 October 2011 - $35.7 Million for Research for Better Mental Health - Australians living with mental illness will benefit from 61 new research grants announced today by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler. Researchers across Australia will receive $35.7 million, through the National Health and Medical Research Council, to fund research into the mental health disorders that affect one in five Australians at some point in their life. "Australia has a strong history of pushing the boundaries in successful mental health research. ... See full media release...

17 October 2011 - Northern Territory Researchers' excel in medical research grants - Northern Territory researchers excelled in today's announcement of grants for health and medical research in Australia by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler. Northern Territory researchers won $17.6 million for 17 grants to the Menzies School of Health Research, through the National Health and Medical Research Council. Over 63 per cent of NT grant applications were selected for funding through a highly competitive national process, nearly tripling the Australian average...See full media release...

17 October 2011 - University of Sydney and University of Newcastle shine in health and medical research stakes - The University of Sydney and the University of Newcastle topped the list of metropolitan and regional universities in the biggest ever investment of $673.7 million for health and medical research, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler announced today. The University of Sydney received the greatest amount of funding for research institutions nationwide, with $87.8 million for 149 grants. Researchers at the University of Newcastle will benefit from $12.7 million in 21... - See full media release...

17 October 2011 - Queensland Women Lead the way in $96.5 Million of Ground Breaking Medical Research - Queensland's leading female researchers will receive funding to continue their groundbreaking work in osteoporosis, the genetics of ovarian cancer and childhood obesity prevention, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler announced today. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. This represents the single biggest investment of grants for health and medical... - See full media release...

17 October 2011 - Boost for Health and Medical Research in South Australia - The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler today announced the single biggest investment in grants for health and medical research in Australian history. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. South Australian universities and research institutes will receive $59.3 million for 90 grants, through the National Health and Medical Research Council. "This... See full media release...

17 October 2011 - $3.4 Million for Tasmanian Health and Medical Research - The Menzies Research Institute will benefit from the single largest investment in health and medical research grants in Australian history, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing announced today. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. Eight researchers and research teams will receive grants totalling $3.4 million, through the National Health and Medical Research Council....- See full media release...

17 October 2011 - Victoria Shines in Health and Medical Research - Research institutes and universities in Victoria led the field in the biggest ever investment in health and medical research, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler announced today. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. 472 researchers, research projects and research institutions in Victoria will receive grants of $278.2 million, 41.2 per cent of the total...- See full media release...

17 October 2011 - ACT Gains $10.8 Million from Biggest Ever Grant Announcement for Health and Medical Research - The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler today announced the single largest investment in grants for health and medical research in Australia. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. ACT researchers will benefit from $10.8 million of this funding, through 20 National Health and Medical Research Council grants. This investment will ensure that researchers in...- See full media release...

17 October 2011 - University of WA in Top 10 for Australian Health and Medical Research Grants - Western Australia universities and medical research institutes will benefit from $28.2 million in research funding for 59 projects, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler announced today. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $673.7 million for 1,140 grants to support researchers, research projects and research institutions Australia-wide. This represents the single biggest announcement of grants for health and medical research in Australian history. The University of...See full media release...

Australia. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

20 October Consultation: Application for PID on Collection of Family, Social and Medical Histories

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

19 October 2011 - Oto-Ease ear lubricant - Some bottles of Oto-Ease® Ear Lubricant (also called Oto-Ease® Earmold and Hearing Aid Lubricant) may be contaminated and are being recalled

19 October 2011 - The Poisons Standard (the SUSMP) - Added link to SUSMP No.2 Amendment No.2

18 October 2011 - Draft compositional guideline: Deer velvet antler powder - Draft compositional guideline for deer velvet antler powder. Closing date: 29 November 2011

18 October 2011- Draft compositional guideline: Deer velvet antler slice - Draft compositional guideline for deer velvet antler slice. Closing date: 29 November 2011

18 October 2011 - Labelling and packaging review - Update regarding the labelling and packaging review

Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

New South Wales. Department of Health

Media releases

Northern Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

Queensland. Department of Health

Media Releases

South Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

Tasmania. Department of Health

Media releases

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

20 Oct: Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2011 Including the Director-General of Health's Annual Report on the State of Public Health

12 Oct: The Price of Cancer: The public price of registered cancer in New Zealand

United Kingdom. Department of Health

NHS Constitution changes to enshrine whistle-blowing in law - Health staff who raise concerns about poor patient care will be protected in the future under changes to the NHS Constitution announced today. The changes will also make it clear that it is the duty of all NHS workers to... Read more...NHS Constitution changes to enshrine whistle-blowing in law

The week: issue 219 - In this edition of "the week", read about the launches of the Birth and Beyond resource pack and the NHS staff survey. Also, find out about a new campaign to promote FRANK and download the latest medical device alerts from... Read more

Preparation for Birth and Beyond: resource pack to help parenthood groups - "Preparation for Birth and Beyond: a resource pack for leaders of community groups and activities", which aims to help the NHS, local authorities and the voluntary sector in planning or running groups for expectant and new parents, has been published... Read more ...Preparation for Birth and Beyond: resource pack to help parenthood groups

Recommendations follow NHS Blood and Transplant review - A review of NHS Blood and Transplant ("NHSBT") recommends that it must continue its work to improve services, ensuring that blood supplies are used appropriately, efficiently and safely. The recommendations are in a report published today by the Department of... Read more...Recommendations follow NHS Blood and Transplant review

Australian Medical Association

AMA supports WMA appeal for fair retrial for Bahraini doctors - Monday 17 October 2011 - The AMA supports the direct appeal by the World Medical Association ("WMA") to the King of Bahrain to ensure a fair retrial for the doctors and other health professionals who have been convicted for treating people who were injured during recent civil unrest.

Mammograms vital for cancer survivors - Friday 14 October 2011 - MJA release - Women with a history of breast cancer should be included in population mammography screening programs, according to new evidence published in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

Australians confused about first aid treatment of burns - Friday 14 October 2011 - MJA release - Less than 10 per cent of people are aware they need to cool burn wounds for 20 minutes in cool water as a first aid measure, a statistic that has prompted a call from public health specialists for a review of national first aid recommendations.

The time has come to talk about dying - Friday 14 October 2011 - MJA release - Modern medicine has shifted its focus to prolonging life at all costs, but it's time to put the planning of end-of-life care back on the agenda, according to an editorial in the 17 October issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

Doctors neglecting conflicts of interest in guidelines - Friday 14 October 2011 - MJA release - Only 15 per cent of guidelines on the National Health and Medical Research Council ("NHMRC") portal from the most prolific developers have published conflict of interest statements, according to researchers reporting in the 17 October issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 40 - 14 October 2011 - Friday 14 October 2011 - GP Super Clinics – need for a proper audit; MBS Indexation inadequate; Average fees for patient billed services; AMA delivers mental health petition to the Government; Advice for patients whose treatment plan is impacted by the cuts to mental health services and rebates; Australian Wound Management Association ("AWMA"); Aged care survey – call for participants; OnePath - Australian families are underinsured; Email the AMA; Post new comment to the website.

© DLA Piper

This publication is intended as a general overview and discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be, and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this publication.


DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm, operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For further information, please refer to www.dlapiper.com

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