Australia: Health Alert - October 8 2012

Last Updated: 15 October 2012
Article by Andrew Forbes


Australian Capital Territory. ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal

Allat & ACT Government Health Directorate (Administrative Review) [2012] ACAT 67 (28 September 2012)

Mr Allatt (the applicant) sought the review of a decision regarding his Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made by the Executive Director of Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug Services, ACT Government Health Directorate (the respondent).

The applicant's wife had given birth in April 2008. Nine days after the birth she presented to Mental Health ACT with puerperal psychosis; she had no previous history of mood disorder or psychosis. The applicant's wife remained in care in January 2009 when she died.

Treatment of the applicant's wife was reviewed by a Mental Health Clinical Review Committee in late January 2009. The applicant then made two FOI requests regarding her treatment, results of the committee's review, members of the committee, submissions made to the committee, any working papers, other related documents and any documents that show of the Department of Health came to its understanding of s 125 of the Health Act 1993 (ACT).

The respondent held that some documents were exempt from being produced on the grounds that: secrecy provisions applied; the documents related to certain operation of agencies; and legal professional privilege.

The Tribunal found that the names of the committee members was not sensitive or protected information and it was in the best interests of the public to ensure accountability and transparency in the review process to release them to the applicant. The Tribunal did find that some documents were exempt from release due to legal professional privilege. Orders were made accordingly.


Danne v Hendtlass (sitting as Coroner) [2012] VSC 454

Peter Danne (the plaintiff) requested review of the decision by the Coroner of Victoria (the defendant).

The defendant is conducting an inquest in the death of Rodney Moore (the deceased). The cause of death, "haemoperitoneum following recent laparoscopic cholecystectomy", was determined by pathologist Dr Sarah Parsons.

The plaintiff, an interested party, is a general surgeon who performed the operation on the deceased. The plaintiff disputed Dr Parsons' conclusion and requested access to the post-mortem CT scan, photographs of the deceased's body and tissue samples for the purpose of obtaining legal and expert medical advice.

The Coroner ruled that the items would only be released to the plaintiff if it was agreed that the plaintiff would provide to the Coroner any reports prepared for the plaintiff on the items requested.

The court found that even if it was accepted that the Coroner would be assisted in conducting the Inquest by having access to any expert reports, that alone does not justify depriving the plaintiff access that would enable him to protect his interests.

The court held that any advice the plaintiff obtained would be privileged and the condition proposed by the respondent would undermine and deprive the plaintiff of the right to decide whom to disclose a privileged document to and wether to waive that privilege. The application for review was allowed and the matter was remitted back to the Coroner.

New South Wales. Nursing & Midwifery Tribunal

HCCC V Thompson (No 1) [2012] NSWNMT 13 (2 October 2012)

HCCC V Gavin Stewart [2012] NSWNMT 12 (28 September 2012)

Northern Territory. Magistrates Court

Inquest into the death of Kalotina Galimitakis [2012] NTMC 30 (27 August 2012)

Unexpected death of baby, hospital birth, paediatric treatment, communication with parents

Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal

Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia v Farley [2012] QCAT 447 (18 September 2012)

Health profession – nurse – review – where conditions imposed after a disciplinary proceeding – where the Tribunal had the function of reviewing whether further action was required – where all registrant had complied with all conditions – whether the conditions jointly proposed were adequate – where the Tribunal considered that no further action was necessary



National Health (Immunisation Program - Designated Vaccines) Variation Determination 2012 (No. 1) F2012L02002 • as made

Health Insurance (Allied Health Services) Amendment Determination 2012 (No. 3) F2012L02001 • as made

Health Insurance (Extended Medicare Safety Net) Amendment Determination 2012 (No. 1)F2012L01998 • as made

South Australia

Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2012 - Commencement: 1 October 2012

National Health Funding Pool Administration (South Australia) Act 2012 - Commencement: 1 October 2012


Health (Commonwealth State Funding Arrangements) Act 2012 - Commencement: 1 October 2012


Australia Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

4 October 2012 - $17.69 Million to Boost Health Workforce in Regional and Remote Areas - Regional and remote communities will benefit from $17.69 million in projects aimed at boosting the healthcare workforce in rural areas, Acting Minister for Health, Mark Butler announced today.

3 October 2012 - Monitoring the Impact of Changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument

28 September 2012 - Celebrations as Katungul Returns to Community Hands

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee has commissioned a Review of products and medicines used for diabetes management. The first stage of the Review is now open for submissions. Further information is available on the Reviews page of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) website, including the Terms of Reference for the Review.

Australia. Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia

Consultation paper 3 October 2012

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

4 October 2012 - Risk management plans (RMPs) for prescription medicines - Removed the specific requirement for sponsors to submit annual updates of RMPs after regulatory approval.

3 October 2012 - Regulatory and Technical Consultative Forum for medical devices (RegTech Forum) - Updated information.

2 October 2012 - Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) - Added 2 AusPARs.

28 September 2012 - Submissions and TGA response: Proposed advisory statements for medicines - cough and cold medicines for use in children - Submissions received in response to the consultation.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Boards

4 October 2012 - The Podiatry Board releases its latest media release. | Read Article

3 October 2012 - The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia releases its latest Communiqué. | Read Article

2 October 2012 - Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board - National Board and AHPRA increase transparency and publish Health Profession Agreement. | Read Article

28 September 2012 - Call for Nominations or Expressions of Interest for appointment to a community member position on the Osteopathy Board of Australia. | Read Article

28 September 2012 - The Dental Board of Australia releases its latest Communiqué. | Read Article

27 September 2012 - Health practitioners are urged to renew registration online and by 30 November. | Read Article

27 September 2012 - The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia releases its latest Communiqué. | Read Article

Australia. National Blood Authority

National Blood Research and Development Strategy

Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care

On the Radar – 1 October 2012 – Issue 99 (145KB)

Dental services: non applicable actions

Day procedure services: non applicable actions

Hospitals – non applicable actions

Dental services: Draft core and developmental actions

Day procedure services: core and developmental actions

Approved accrediting agencies

A3 National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards Poster

Hospitals: core and developmental actions

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

4 October 2012 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services report, 2010–11

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

Circular 12/28 - Market yield September 2012 - 3 October 2012

New South Wales. Ministry of Health

Media releases

4 October 2012 - Special Clinics to Combat Measles Epidemic

30 September 2012 - Mental Health Month 2012: Time to start talking about mental health

Policy directives

28 September 2012 - Congenital Conditions Register - Reporting Requirements - PD2012_055

27 September 2012 - Bed Numbers Data Collection - NSW Procedures Policy - PD2012_054

Queensland. Department of Healt

Queensland Health Strategic Plan 2012 - 2016 now available

Guideline for multicultural health policy implementation

Queensland. Health Quality and Complaints Commission

Annual report 2011-12 tabled

Watchdog releases dental report

South Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

4 October 2012 - Tax break gives SA Films the edge

3 October 2012 - 700 more nurses in our country hospitals

2 October 2012 - Major boost to cancer research in South Australia

Tasmania. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

28 September 2012 - DHHS Progress Chart - September 2012

28 September 2012 - Visitor/Mentor Program for Young People

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

4 October 2012 - Kitchen heats up at Jamie’s Ministry of Food Geelong - The Good Foundation and Minister for Health, David Davis today marked the official opening of Jamie’s Ministry of Food kitchen in Geelong.

1 October 2012 - Green light for mental health help service - Funding of more than $1 million from the Victorian Coalition Government has secured the future of an agency that gives people with a mental illness the opportunity to help others in the same situation.

28 September 2012 - Improving safety for women in mental health services - The Victorian Coalition Government is inviting proposals from the state's hospitals and health services for funding to improve mental health facilities for women patients, Mental Health Minister, Mary Wooldridge announced today.

27 September 2012 - Landmark study delivers groundbreaking insight into Victoria’s health - The largest ever investigation into Victoria’s health has delivered a ground-breaking insight into the growing rate of chronic disease and its link to unhealthy lifestyles.

Victorian Health Monitor Food and Nutrition report (pdf)

Victorian Health Monitor report (pdf)

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

28 September 2012 - Minister for Women's Interests: New David Jones breast screening clinic open

28 September 2012- WA hospitals perform strongly in national emergency departments report

Operational directives

4 October 2012 - OD 0392/12 - Information about how to order government-funded hepatitis A and B vaccine for adults in Western Australia at risk of acquiring these infections by sexual transmission and injecting drug use.

4 October 2012 - OD 0391/12 - While emergency and urgent treatment is provided to all patients regardless of Medicare eligibility as a duty of care, it may not always be reasonable for long-term visitors to travel to their home country for elective and non-urgent treatment. This OD will assist health services in having proper processes in place to identify and support such patients and to recover associated treatment costs.

Referrals to Public Outpatient Surgical Clinics (PDF 760KB)

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

2 October 2012 - Guidance for implementing high-quality multidisciplinary meetings

2 October 2012 - Effective behaviour change in long-term conditions

28 September 2012 - Office of the Director of Mental Health: Annual Report 2011

New Zealand

28 September 2012 - Privacy update for the health sector - KPMG and Information Integrity Solutions recently released their report into privacy and security of information at the Accident Compensation Corporation. The report also considered recent sector developments including the growing trend of electronic information sharing in the health sector which means it's time for health sector organisations to consider their compliance with the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.

United Kingdom. Department of Health

2 October 2012 - Join Twitter conversation on National Health Service (NHS) Constitution - A conversation on the values and principles of the NHS Constitution is took place on Twitter.

1 October 2012 - Healthwatch England launched - Healthwatch England, the new national, statutory consumer champion for health and social care in England, launched today.

28 September 2012 - NICE to help drive standards in social care - From April 2013, the role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will expand to include social care.

28 September 2012 - Pregnant women to be offered whooping cough vaccination - Following a rise in the number of cases of whooping cough in young babies, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has announced that pregnant women will be offered a vaccination.

Canada. Health Canada

3 October 2012 - Harper Government Takes Action to Help Canadians with Rare Diseases - Launch of First Ever Canadian Framework to Increase Access to New Treatments and Information and Orphanet - Canada Online Portal

Australian Medical Association (AMA)

2 October 2012 - Standoff Threatens To Throw Doctors On The Scrap Heap - President, Dr Steve Hambleton said this evening that the ongoing refusal by the states and territories to help fund medical intern places threatens to send significant numbers of our future doctors to the scrap heap.

28 September 2012 - Protecting Access to Medical Care in Syria - The AMA congratulates the Federal Government on its efforts to bring forward a plan to protect and respect access to hospitals and medical care in Syria, which is under constant threat of disruption during the ongoing conflict there.

British Medical Association (BMA)

3 October 2012 - GMC details specialist registration reforms

3 October 2012 - Labour hears doctors' reforms fears

3 October 2012 - BMA council chair warns against further NHS upheaval

2 October 2012 - Labour defends national pay bargaining

2 October 2012 - Tobacco law delaying tactics condemned

2 October 2012 - NHS services face centralisation

1 October 2012 - BMA negotiates safe and fair car parking

1 October 2012 - NHS Commissioning Board launched today

29 September 2012 - Perfect storm threatens quality training

Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

1 October 2012 - CMA backs new federal decision on asbestos

28 September 2012 - Rate-your-MD sites

© 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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