Australia: Health Alert: 23 April 2012

Last Updated: 24 April 2012
Article by Michael Regos


Victoria. Coroners Court

Finding - inquest into the death of Gayle Maree Johnson

Gayle Johnson's history, the deceased, included severe anorexia nervosa, alcohol misuse and depression. After seeing her condition, Dr Cavini GP recommended Ms Johnson immediately attend Wangaratta Hospital. She agreed to go the next day.

At triage, Ms Johnson was assessed as hypothermic, dehydrated and had a body mass index of 12.1. She refused to eat or drink. Dr Andrews attended her the next day at 12:45am. She wanted to go home and he directed her discharge. In evidence he stated he thought she would stay the morning. She was discharged but then found in the waiting room at 8:00am.

Once readmitted, Dr Bowmaker noted in her referral to the Austin Eating Disorders Unit that Ms Johnson was "cognitively impaired". Ms Johnson was seen by several doctors, stayed overnight but then wanted to leave. The consultant psychiatrist relied on a mental health assessment by a registered psychiatric nurse and Ms Johnson was discharged without examination by the consultant physician or psychiatrist. The management plan was to follow up in six days with a visit and referral to the Eating Disorders Unit. Ms Johnson died one to two days later.

The Coroner concluded that the first discharge did not pass a common sense test and the second had involved no consideration of whether Ms Johnson would survive six days. Ms Johnson should have been involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic) or provided with daily supervision if discharged. Expert support may have been able to persuade her to stay. Her death was due to complications of anorexia.

Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal

Chinese Medicine Registration Board v Whiter (Occupational and Business Regulation) [2012] VCAT 348 (27 March 2012)

The Chinese Medicine Registration Board (applicant) claimed that Mr Rowan Whiter (respondent), a Victorian registered Chinese medicine practitioner, had engaged in professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct under the Health Professions Registration Act 2005 (Vic) (Act).

The respondent claimed that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter because the relevant events had occurred in Tasmania, where registration was not a requirement.

The Tribunal considered that whether the Act had extra-territorial effect depended on whether:

  • Victorian Parliament had power to legislate with extra-territorial effect
  • Victorian Parliament had actually legislated to that effect in this case.

The Tribunal found that the relevant connection between Victoria and the external behaviour was sufficient because the purpose was the protection of the Victorian public. Also, it would be contrary to the purpose of the Act to hold that the same conduct is not relevant because it occurred in a different state.

The patient, FN, had multiple previous medical problems. The respondent became actively involved in FN's life; they started seeing each other socially and developed a close personal relationship. Eventually FN cancelled her appointments and saw another practitioner.

The Board argued that the patient was vulnerable, the respondent's conduct was intense and for three to four months' duration. The Tribunal accepted this and found professional misconduct within the meaning of the Act, as the respondent engaged in conduct that substantially fell short of the profession's standards. Even though the respondent had not renewed his registration, he was reprimanded.




Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

20 April 2012 - More Choice, Easier Access and Better Care for Older Australians - Under landmark changes to the aged care system, more people will get to keep their home, and more people will get to stay in their home as they receive aged care.

18 April 2012 - Government responds to the Final Report of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians - The Federal Government has issued its initial response to the Final Report of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians.

18 April 2012 - Inala headspace Opens for Young People in South-East Brisbane - Young people living in Inala and surrounding areas will benefit from a new headspace service opened on 18 April.

Private Health Insurance Circulars

PHI 26/12 Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Amendment Rules 2012 (No. 2) - Change to Second Tier Eligible Hospitals

PHI 25/12 Amendment to the Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Amendment Rules 2012 (No. 1)

Living Longer. Living Better - On 20 April 2012, the Prime Minister and Minister Butler unveiled a comprehensive package of reforms to build a better, fairer, more sustainable and more nationally consistent aged care system.

The May 2012 MBS files are now available for download

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

20 April 2012 - ACMD 2012/1 meeting resolutions - The 2012/1 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Medical Devices was held on 16 March 2012.

20 April 2012 - Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) - Added Etanercept, Nevirapine, Normal immunoglobulin (human), SMOFlipid 20% / Aminoven 10% (with or without electrolytes) / glucose 42%, Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate / emtricitabine / rilpivirine.

18 April 2012 - Albumex (human albumin solutions) - CSL Biotherapies is recalling a batch of Albumex 4 due to the presence of ethylene glycol.

17 April 2012 - List of evaluated registered complementary medicines - The list of evaluated registered complementary medicines was updated to include two new products.

16 April 2012 - TGA warns consumers about the use of Burmese medicines - The Therapeutic Goods Administration is advising consumers not to purchase or use unproven products such as Burmese traditional powders.

16 April 2012 - Uniform recall procedure for therapeutic goods - Updated recall co-ordinators' contact details

14 April 2012 - MITCH TRH Modular Head (used in hip replacements) - product cancellation - The MITCH TRH modular head has been cancelled from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and it cannot be used in Australia.

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

Draft clinical practice guideline for the management of borderline personality disorder

Public consultation on the revised draft A Guide to the Use of Australian Native Mammals in Biomedical Research

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

Circular 12/07 - 13 April 2012 - Upcoming Industry Education Seminars

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

18 April 2012 - COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - media release

17 April 2012 - Dental health of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory: progress of the Closing the Gap Child Oral Health Program (media release)

13 April 2012 - AIHW Access magazine no 32, April 2012 online (download as PDF)

Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health

15 April 2012 - Avoid Burmese traditional powders - Health Directorate advises avoiding the use of Burmese traditional powders at present, while an investigation continues.

Burmese Powders

New South Wales. Department of Health

Media releases

17 April 2012 - A New Ambulance Station for Cessnock

14 April 2012 - Health Warning to avoid Burmese traditional powders

Policy directive

Retrieval Handover (Adults) -PD2012_019-19/04/2012

Northern Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

Kon Vatskalis - NT Government Remains Committed to Maternity Services at Palmerston Hospital - The NT Government remains committed to providing safe maternity services at Palmerston Hospital - despite the Country Liberal Party scaremongering about the quality of service to be provided by Territory doctors, midwives and nurses.

Kon Vatskalis/Paul Henderson - Milestone For Palmerston Hospital With Early Works Beginning - The construction of the $110 million Palmerston Hospital took a significant step forward today with the commencement of water and sewage headworks, Chief Minister Paul Henderson said today.

South Australia. Department of Health

Media release

16 April 2012 - Protect yourself and others from the flu

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services

Media releases

19 April 2012 - Would Liberals Deny Requests for Advice-> - Minister for Health

19 April 2012 - Liberals Would Axe Essential Health Services-Minister for Health

19 April 2012 - A Wee Bit More Iodine For Much Better Health-Minister for Health

19 April 2012 - Quicker ambulance services for rural Tasmanians

18 April 2012 - Securing Health - Minister for Health

Victoria. Department of Health

19 April 2012 - At-risk urged on flu vax - Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Rosemary Lester has urged Victorians at risk of influenza to be immunised.

16 April 2012 - New vital medical equipment for Victorian hospitals - Victorian hospitals and patients will benefit from a $35 million funding boost to buy state-of-the-art replacement medical equipment.

April 2012 - Health Victoria - Read latest edition

Western Australia. Department of Health

Healthview Autumn 2012

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

18 April 2012 - Cancer Trends: Trends in Cancer Survival by Ethnic and Socioeconomic Group, New Zealand, 1991-2004 - This report presents new information on trends and inequalities in cancer survival for 21 cancers diagnosed in New Zealand over a 13-year period, from 1991 to 2004.

17 April 2012 - Guidelines for Implementing the Prohibition on the Display of Tobacco Products - These guidelines provide information to sellers of tobacco products to ensure that they understand the new obligations placed on them when the prohibition on tobacco displays comes into force.

United Kingdom. Department of Health

Nursing and Care Quality Forum outlines work to improve nursing care - The Nursing and Care Quality Forum, which aims to improve the quality of nursing care across all care settings, met Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today ... Read more -> - Nursing and Care Quality Forum outlines work to improve nursing care

School for Public Health Research launched - The new National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research has launched. It has a budget of Ł20 million over five years to undertake research into public ... Read more -> - School for Public Health Research launched

Tackling dementia: live discussion - Put your questions to Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia and other panelists in a live discussion on how we can improve services for people with dementia. Join from noon ... Read more -> - Tackling dementia: live discussion

Language checks for doctors included in consultation on role of responsible officers - Proposals to ensure the language competence of doctors have been put forward as part of a consultation launched today on regulations governing the role of Responsible Officers. Under the proposals... Read more -> - Language checks for doctors included in consultation on role of responsible officers

Consultation launched on standardised tobacco packaging - A UK-wide consultation seeking views on whether tobacco products should be sold in standardised packaging has been launched. The government is exploring whether action on tobacco packaging has the potential... Read more -> - Consultation launched on standardised tobacco packaging

Canada. Health Canada

Recommendations on Canadian Multiple Sclerosis research priorities

Australian Medical Association

20 April 2012 - Government delivers strong package for older Australians - but medical care is lacking - The Australian Medical Association (AMA) congratulates the Federal Government on its Living Longer Living Better plan to support older Australians, in particular the measures to assist them to live in their homes for longer, but is disappointed that the issue of access to quality medical care has not been properly addressed. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton said that the plan is a strong response to a policy area that has been long neglected, but the government should have gone the extra step of giving older Australians the comfort of knowing they could get access to their doctors at a time of life when they most need them.

19 April 2012 - AMA calls for improved support and supervision for IMG doctors - AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton has written to Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek urging the Federal Government to fund extra specialised support and supervision for International Medical Graduate (IMG) doctors, especially those working in rural and regional Australia. The AMA recommends that new funding should be allocated to General Practice Education and Training, an organisation with the capacity and infrastructure to provide this additional support for IMG doctors working in general practice.

American Medical Association

Media release

18 April 2012 - American Medical Association Releases Online Physician Resource to Help Diagnose and Treat Patients with Eating Disorders - The American Medical Association has released an online training module to help primary care physicians better screen for and manage eating disorders.

© 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”

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
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 you may opt out by clicking here

    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.

    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.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    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.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions