Australia: Health Alert : 20 February 2012

Last Updated: 22 February 2012
Article by Michael Regos


Australia. High Court

Patel v The Queet [2012] HCATrans 19 (10 February 2012)

This is a transcript from an application by Jayant Patel in the High Court of Australia seeking special leave to appeal a decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal. Mr Patel was convicted on three counts of manslaughter and one of unlawful grievous bodily harm for deciding to operate on a patient whose health was precarious. The patient suffered bleeding that could not be stopped and later died.

Counsel for Mr Patel argued that he did not have a trial according to law because he had been tried under section 288 of the Criminal Code (Qld), which does not include the decision to operate, and he should have been tried under section 282, which does.

Counsel submitted that the trial was a miscarriage of justice because the law was incorrectly put before the jury, and because the jury had heard much prejudicial evidence regarding the surgery, when the competence of the surgery was no longer an issue.

The Crown argued that the words in section 288 should capture the decision to operate, and the concept of surgery is wide and includes the decision. The Crown also argued that the evidence regarding surgery was necessary and relevant to prove causation.

The Court granted the application for leave to appeal based on the interpretation of the Criminal Code (Qld). The Court requested further particulars regarding the miscarriage of justice and referred the application to an expanded court.

Australia. Federal Court

Secretary, Department of Health and Ageing v Export Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 42 (3 February 2012)

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing brought an application in the Federal Court before Perram J against Export Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd (respondent) for importing and supplying therapeutic goods in contravention with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) (Act).

The Act proscribes the importation or supply of therapeutic goods that are neither listed nor registered with the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Goods that contain certain harmful ingredients cannot be listed and must be registered. A number of the products imported and supplied by the respondent contained such ingredients, and were not registered.

The facts were not contested, so the court assessed the appropriate size of the civil penalty. Perram J held that there were 10 contraventions, each with a maximum penalty of $5.5 million. His Honour considered that the respondent had not previously contravened the Act, the contravention was not deliberate (based on a reasonable misunderstanding), no loss was suffered by anyone as a consequence and also that the error was made at a high level in ignorance of the seriousness of the requirements.

The court stated that the purpose of the penalty was punishment and deterrence, both of the wrongdoer and others, and decided the total penalty was $4.811 million. This was reduced to $3.127 million due to the respondent's cooperation with the Secretary. The court ordered the parties to bring in short minutes of order within seven days giving effect to the reasons.

New South Wales. Psychologists Tribunal

HCCC v Whyte (No 2) [2012] NSWPST 4 (16 February 2012) LEGISLATION Commonwealth



Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Rules 2012 (No. 1) F2012L00335 o as made

National Health (Listing of Pharmaceutical Benefits) Amendment Instrument 2012 (No. 1) (No. PB 1 of 2012) F2012L00288 o PB 1 of 2012 as made

National Health (Price and Special Patient Contribution) Amendment Determination 2012 (No. 1) (No. PB 2 of 2012) - F2012L00272 o PB 2 of 2012 as made


Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

Private Health Insurance Circular - PHI 08/12 Delay of the February 2012 Prostheses List

Australia. Parliamentary Library

Private health insurance premium increases - an overview and update [ PDF 486KB]

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

16 February 2012 - Notification Requirements Under The Private Health Insurance (Insurer Obligations) Rules 2009 - Current Edition - 12/03

Australia. Medical Board of Australia

8 February 2012 - The Medical Board of Australia has released a consultation paper on the funding of external doctors' health programs. | Read Article

Australia. Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia

1 February 20120 - The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia releases its latest communique. | Read Article

Australia. Podiatry Board of Australia

9 February 2012 - The Podiatry Board of Australia releases a consultation paper on Specialist Registration Standards. | Read Article

7 February 2012 - The Podiatry Board of Australia releases its latest communique. | Read Article

Australia. Chinese Medicine Board of Australia

14 February 2012 - Interview with Professor Charlie Xue, Chair of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia discussing registration. | Read Article

14 February 2012 - The Board has released further answers to frequently asked questions regarding its English Language Standard. | Read Article

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

15 February 2012 - Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia 2000-2009 (media release)

10 February 2012 - Comorbidity of mental disorders and physical conditions 2007

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

9 February 2012 - 10 of the Best Health and Medical Research Projects 2011 Launch - Cone snails are not an obvious place to look for medicine's next significant breakthrough, but this is exactly where Dr Richard Lewis and his research team have found a promising new treatment for chronic pain. This research, which is currently at the clinical trial stage, makes use of cone snail toxins to create new pain treatments that lack the side effects associated with existing drugs. It is one of the research projects showcased in the National Health and Medical Research Council...

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

16 February 2012 - Documents released under Section 11C of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Added FOI 219-1112 documents.

16 February 2012 - Greenridge herbal liquid medicines: swapped labels - This recall is being conducted because the affected bottles have been mislabelled.

13 February 2012 - Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines (ACSOM) - Updated membership information.

10 February 2012 - Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants - TGA update - Updated information on PIP breast implants.

10 February 2012 - Export Corporation penalised $3.1 million for importing and supplying products not on the ARTG - On 3 February 2012 the Federal Court ruled that Export Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd should pay civil penalties of just over $3.1 million for importing and supplying a number of products that were not on the ARTG.

New South Wales. Ministry of Health

Media releases

Queensland. Department of Health

Media releases

South Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services

Media releases

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

13 February 2012 - Mental Health and Addiction: Service use 2009/10 (provisional) - This publication provides information on mental health and addiction services provided by secondary organisations in the 2009/10 financial year (July 009 to June 2010).

United Kingdom. Department of Health

NPC publishes reports into controlled drugs - The National Prescribing Centre (NPC) has published three reports commissioned by the Department of Health, concerning the safe management and use of controlled drugs in the ambulance and paramedic sector.

Health and Social Care Bill explained - The Health and Social Care Bill is now in its Report Stage in the House of Lords.

Online patient feedback linked to hospital performance - Imperial College London has published independent research that links online patient feedback and objective measures of hospital performance.

National Institute for Health Research to award professorships - Eight of the UK's most promising leaders in medical health research will each be awarded a National Institute for Health Research professorship, the Government announced today.

Ten reasons why we need a Bill to make these reforms work - Health Minister Simon Burns explains why the Health and Social Care Bill is needed to make the changes that are being proposed for the NHS.

Responsibility deal showcases collaborative work to improve public health - If you're interested in finding out more about how to get involved in improving public health - as an employer, or through commercial actions or community activities.

Smokers are urged to quit for Valentine's Day - Smokers are being urged to improve their romantic chances by stopping smoking on Valentine's Day. They can pick up a free Quit Kit from their local pharmacy.

Australian Medical Association

13 February 2012 - Savings from private health means test changes must go to health - AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton said today that,should the Government succeed in getting its private health insurance means test changes through the Parliament, all savings should be ploughed back into the health system. Dr Hambleton said that the extra funding would assist cover existing need in the system and help compensate the public hospital system for any extra demand that may occur as a result of the changes.

© 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

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