Australia: Health Alert - 7 November 2011

Last Updated: 8 November 2011
Article by Anthony Willis


Western Australia. State Administrative Tribunal

MEDICAL BOARD OF AUSTRALIA and COSTLEY [2011] WASAT 171 (12 October 2011)

This State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia decision related to allegations of professional misconduct brought against a medical practitioner by the Medical Board of Australia. Proceedings were commenced before the Tribunal in April 2011 and the practitioner subsequently applied to the Tribunal for an order that certain allegations relating to the practitioner's alleged inappropriate relationship with a patient be struck out on the basis that to allow this part of the proceeding would involve an abuse of process.

The practitioner gave evidence that the relationship with the patient took place over 18 years ago and was the subject of a complaint to the Medical Board of Western Australia in early 1993 which led to a decision that no breach of the Medical Act 1894 (WA) had occurred.

The Tribunal was required to balance public interest considerations of protecting the public with the requirements of fairness to the practitioner and in applying this weighing process ultimately found that it was appropriate to strike out the relevant allegations as an abuse of process.

The Tribunal cited a number of reasons for this decision including the fact that the practitioner had been informed over 18 years ago by the Medical Board of Western Australia that substantially the same allegations would not involve disciplinary proceedings and further that the practitioner's ability to meaningfully defend the allegations had been significantly compromised by reason of the significant delay since 1993 and the present.



Health Insurance (Prescribed Pathology Services) Determination 2011 - F2011L02163 " as made

Health Insurance (Midwife and Nurse Practitioner) Determination 2011 - F2011L02162 " as made

National Health (Chemotherapy Pharmaceuticals Access Program) Special Arrangement Amendment Instrument 2011 (No.10) (No. PB 78 of 2011) - F2011L02161 " PB 78 of 2011 as made

Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Rules 2011 - F2011L02160 " as made

Australian Capital Territory

Transplantation and Anatomy Amendment Bill - introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 27 October 2011

Northern Territory

Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Bill 2011 - introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 20 October 2011.


Health and Hospitals Network Act 2011 No. 32 - assented to on 28/10/2011


Public Health Amendment Bill - introduced into the House of Assembly on 18 October 2011

Tasmanian Health Organisations Bill 2011 - introduced into the House of Assembly on 18 October 2011


Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

  • 03 November 2011 - Director of Professional Services Review appointed - Dr William (Bill) Coote has been appointed permanent Director of the Professional Services Review (PSR), Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon announced on 3 November 2011.
  • 03 November 2011 - New national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health - The Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, and the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, today announced the development of a new health plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
  • 02 November 2011 - Amendments to tobacco plain packaging start date - The Government has announced revised implementation timeframes for the introduction of its world first tobacco plain packaging legislation following delays in the Senate passing the legislation.
  • 02 November 2011 - Construction begins on $44.6m capital region cancer centre - Cancer patients in the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding regions of New South Wales are set to benefit further from national health reforms, as construction begins on the $44.6 million Capital Region Cancer Centre.Senate passing the legislation.
  • 02 November 2011 - High number of HHF applications received - More than 200 applications for health services in rural and regional Australia, totalling almost $3.4 billion, have been received under the Australian Government's latest Health and Hospitals Fund Regional Priority Round.Senate passing the legislation.
  • 02 November 2011 - Pillar of health reform passes the House - A key pillar of the Australian Government's health reforms, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, has moved a step closer with legislation to establish the statutory authority passing the House of Representatives, Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon, said.
  • 02 November 2011 - Second report on economic potential of senior Australians - The Australian Government has welcomed the second report from the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians, which looks at how to the most of the opportunities presented by a larger and more active community of older Australians.
  • 01 November 2011 - Call for public submissions on better regulation of industrial chemicalsM - The Australian Government is inviting submissions for the review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme.
  • 01 November 2011 - One year on patients have more choice - Patients and pregnant women around the country are benefitting from trail-blazing nurse practitioners and midwives who, in collaboration with medical practitioners, are now providing Government-subsidised services to patients.
  • 28 October 2011- Health reform delivers over 40 beds for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven -Patients in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven will benefit from better access to more sub-acute hospital beds including improved rehabilitation, palliative care and mental health services as a result of the Gillard Government's historic national health reforms.
  • 28 October 2011 - New guidelines improves the management of volatile substance use -Australia's first Consensus-Based Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Volatile Substance Use in Australia and a quick-reference summary to support heath workers treating clients in this area have been developed.
  • 28 October 2011 - Shellharbour GP Super Clinic opens-The Australian Government is delivering more health services to Shellharbour with the official opening of the Shellharbour GP Super Clinic.

Aged Care Complaints Scheme: complaint resolution toolkit now available - The Aged Care Complaints Scheme's new complaint resolution toolkit is now available to help aged care industry effectively handle complaints and to support the introduction of the new framework for complaints resolution. The toolkit aims to help providers understand their roles, responsibilities and involvement in complaints handling, the components of an effective internal complaint resolution process, and the Scheme's role and new complaint resolution framework. You can access the toolkit online here:
We encourage you to subscribe to Aged Care Complaints Scheme News to receive an email alert whenever we publish new information on the site. This will also keep you informed when updates are made to the toolkit. To subscribe, enter your email address into the 'Subscribe to updates' box on the right-hand side of the website. 28 October 2011

Proposed DoHA Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 and summary of key provisions

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

03 November 2011 - Feedback to ensure better information for the management of ADHD in children and adolescents

28 October 2011 - New guideline improves the management of volatile substance use

28 October 2011 - Safer drinking water for all Australians

Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency

AHPRA and the National Boards release annual report. - 02/11/2011 | Read Article

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

Lung cancer in Australia 2011 - media release (4 Nov 2011)

AIHW annual report 2010-11 online (3 Nov 2011)

Obesity and injury in Australia: a review of the literature (3 Nov 2011) media release

Expenditure on health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2008-09: an analysis by remoteness and disease (2 Nov 2011) media release

Cervical screening in Australia 2008-2009 (31 Oct 2011) media release

Health expenditure Australia 2009-10 (28 Oct 2011) media release

Infection rates available on MyHospitals website (media release) (27 Oct 2011)

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

4 November 2011 - TGA structure - Updated structure chart

4 November 2011 - Citalopram and heart problems - changes to recommended doses The TGA is advising that citalopram should no longer be used at doses greater than 40 mg per day

3 November 2011 - S-shape slim capsules - Analysis undertaken by the TGA Laboratories in Australia has confirmed the presence of therapeutic quantities of sibutramine, fenfluramine, phenolphthalein, propranolol and nifedipine in S-shape slim capsules

3 November 2011 - Savacol antiseptic mouth & throat rinse alcohol free - The TGA advises that all batches of Savacol Antiseptic Mouth & Throat Rinse alcohol free chlorhexidine gluconate 2 mg/mL mouthwash are being recalled

3 November 2011 - Dabigatran (Pradaxa) & the risk of bleeding: new recommendations for monitoring kidney function - The TGA advises health professionals and consumers that, following further evaluation of international reports of bleeding with Pradaxa, new recommendations for assessing kidney function before starting this medicine and during its use are now in place

3 November 2011 - Dabigatran (Pradaxa): risk of bleeding relating to use - Added risk factors for bleeding & updated reported adverse events information

2 November 2011 - Atomoxetine (STRATTERA) - risk of increased blood pressure and/or heart rate - The TGA is advising health professionals and patients of important safety information regarding the risk of increased blood pressure and/or heart rate with the use of atomoxetine (STRATTERA®)

31 October 2011 - Improving international cooperation between regulators - The TGA, the EMA, and the US FDA have completed a pilot program designed to enhance information sharing and cooperation on the inspection of manufacturing plants producing active pharmaceutical ingredients

28 October 2011 - Clinical guidelines - Added explanatory note to pp. 193 - 198 of Rules 1998 (3C) - 3CC12a

28 October 2011 - Cancellation of a therapeutic good for non-payment of an annual charge - Updated information

Australia. Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

2 Nov 2011 - Quarterly Bulletin 60 - READ MORE

Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit (3 November 2011) - The final stage of community consultation on the new Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit is now open.

Cancer in the ACT report (2 November 2011) - Health Directorate has just released this latest Cancer in the ACT, Incidence and Mortality Report for 2011.

ChiTree product recall (31 October 2011) - Health Directorate has warned Canberrans against consuming ChiTree apricot kernels.

Healthy Territory spring edition (28 October 2011) - See the latest edition of Healthy Territory - ACT Health's magazine for healthcare providers.

Australian Capital Territory. Department of Community Services

Community Consultation - ESA Station upgrade - Description: The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Station Upgrade and Relocation Strategy is about improving community safety for Canberrans as the city expands and the population grows. It seeks to reduce, and where possible, prevent the impact of emergencies should they occur, with particular attention to the protection and preservation of life, property and the environment. Closing Date : 17/12/2011

New South Wales. Department of Health

Media releases

New South Wales Mothers and Babies Report 2009 31/10/2011

Exercise Intervention to prevent falls and enhance mobility in community dwellers after stroke: A randomised controlled trial 31/10/2011

Policy directives

Queensland. Department of Health

Media releases

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services

Media releases

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

Low vitamin D in Victoria: Key health messages for doctors, nurses and allied health (October 2011)

Department releases its 2010-11 annual report - 28 October 2011 - On Thursday 27 October, the Department of Health tabled its annual report in Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Management Act.

Dental Health Program funding model and data set

Newborn screening policy and guidelines 2011

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

United Kingdom. Department of Health

Remember to get your flu jab - The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, is reminding everyone in an at-risk group to come forward and join the estimated seven million people who have already had the ... Read more – Remember to get your flu jab - Published: 3 November, 2011

Public service pensions – the NHS Pension Scheme - The Health Secretary has today written to all Chairs of NHS trusts, SHA clusters, PCT clusters, Foundation Trusts and Arm's Length Bodies about the Government's proposed changes to public service ... Read more – Public service pensions – the NHS Pension Scheme - Published: 2 November, 2011

Watch the quit smoking TV ad - The Department's second wave of its advertising campaign featuring real children, not actors, talking about how worried they are about their parents' smoking, is running currently. The adverts encourage smokers to order ... Read more – Watch the quit smoking TV ad - Published: 2 November, 2011

The NHS Commissioning Board Authority (Functions of the Authority) Directions 2011 - These Directions allow for making preparatory arrangements towards the establishment and operation of the NHS Commissioning Board. In doing so they direct the Authority to take any such steps deemed ... Read more – The NHS Commissioning Board Authority (Functions of the Authority) Directions 2011 - Published: 1 November, 2011

All children really want this Christmas is their parents to quit smoking - As the Department launches a second wave of its advertising campaign aimed at getting loved ones to quit smoking, new research reveals children's anti-smoking attitudes. Featuring real children, not actors ... Read more – All children really want this Christmas is their parents to quit smoking - Published: 1 November, 2011

Plan launched to keep us healthy this winter - The 'Cold weather plan for England', which aims to protect people's health throughout the cold winter months, was launched today – the official start of winter. The cross-Government initiative reminds ... Read more – Plan launched to keep us healthy this winter - Published: 1 November, 2011

Launch of the Clinical Practice Research Datalink - In March 2011, The Government launched its 'Plan for Growth' which details steps needed to enable the British economy to become more internationally competitive. As part of this initiative The ... Read more – Launch of the Clinical Practice Research Datalink - Published: 31 October, 2011

NHS Commissioning Board Authority goes live - The NHS Commissioning Board Authority, a special health authority and the shadow form of the NHS Commissioning Board (the Board), is now in operation. Subject to the successful passage of ... Read more – NHS Commissioning Board Authority goes live - Published: 31 October, 2011

United States of America. Department of Health & Human Services

October 31, 2011 - Statement from Secretary Sebelius on Second Annual Sustainability Performance Plan - Statement from Secretary Sebelius on Second Annual Sustainability Performance Plan

October 31, 2011 - HHS announces refined survey standards to examine and help eliminate differences in care based on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, or disability - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released final standards to more consistently measure race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability status, thereby improving the ability to highlight disparities in health status and target interventions to reduce these disparities.

Australian Medical Association

Senate mental health inquiry outcome reflects huge workload and misinformation - Today, 4 November 2011, - AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that this week's messy and divided outcome from the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Commonwealth's funding and administration of mental health services reflects the enormity of community interest in mental health, and the confusing and misinformed input from some key stakeholders.

AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2011 - Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - The AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2011 has found that there has been little improvement in public hospital capacity and performance across Australia in 2009-10, despite extra Commonwealth funding. It has been very much business as usual as public hospitals struggle to meet demand.

Little improvement in public hospital capacity and performance despite extra Commonwealth funding - Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - There was little improvement in public hospital capacity and performance across Australia in 2009-10, despite extra Commonwealth funding, according to the AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2011, released today. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that public hospital performance in every State and Territory is well below targets for access to emergency departments and elective surgery set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Mental health services harder to access from tomorrow - Monday, 31 October 2011 - The Government's savage cuts to mental health services available through general practice come into effect tomorrow, 1 November. Under changes announced in the May Budget, the Government is cutting Medicare rebates for GP mental health services under the Better Access Program by up to 46 per cent.

American Medical Association

AMA to help physicians promote healthy families - Nov. 1, 2011 - AMA Press Release - The AMA released CME activities to help physicians promote healthy lifestyles to their patients and families.

© 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

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.