Australia: Health Alert - 18 March 2013

Last Updated: 21 March 2013
Article by Anthony Willis


Australia. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

"J" and Department of Health and Ageing [2013] AICmr 21 (8 March 2013) (PDF)

Request for access to documents — Whether giving access would disclose information that would reasonably be regarded as irrelevant to the request — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether documents conditionally exempt from release — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents.

New South Wales. Pharmacy Tribunal

HCCC v NG [2013] NSWPHT 1 (7 March 2013)

A 2009 finding of professional misconduct was upheld on appeal to the NSW Supreme Court and remitted to the Tribunal to determine the question of protective orders and costs. This case deals with costs.

Clause 13 of Schedule 5D of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) grants a Tribunal discretion to order the complainant, registered health practitioner or any other person entitled to appear before the Tribunal, to pay costs to another person. The usual rationale for making a costs order is that it is just and reasonable that the successful party should be reimbursed for costs incurred. The test for determining whether an order for costs should be made against an unsuccessful plaintiff or complainant is not whether they warrant punishment, but whether in the circumstances, the defendant or respondent should be compensated.

In the ordinary circumstances where a complaint against a medical practitioner has failed a Tribunal should make an order for costs in the practitioner's favour. The Tribunal in this case determined that, as a matter of logic, it follows that if a complaint is made out against a health practitioner, then an order in favour of the complainant should follow. The Tribunal accepted that the respondent Commission should be regarded as the successful party, and that its reasonable expectation of being awarded costs should be realised.

New South Wales. Chiropractors Tribunal

HCCC v MAHER [2013] NSWCHT 1 (4 March 2013)

Chiropractor – unsatisfactory professional conduct – professional misconduct – boundary violations – complaints by male patient re inappropriate comments, touching, lack of draping – failure to keep appropriate records or provide adequate information.

South Australia. Health Practitioners Tribunal

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia v Williams [2013] SAHPT 1 (27 February 2013)

A number of allegations of professional misconduct were made by the applicant Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia against the respondent, a registered nurse. These were: having held herself out as possessing a diploma in enrolled nursing, presenting herself as a participant in a course for which a diploma in enrolled nursing was a pre-requisite, giving false and misleading explanations about her conduct to the Board and also the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. The respondent had also committed Centrelink fraud which resulted in criminal offences of dishonesty against her and a suspended sentence.

The Health Practitioners Tribunal found that although the respondent's conduct was outside the course of normal nursing practice the conduct could not be separated from her practice as a nurse. The Centrelink fraud alone was sufficient to find her not a fit and proper person to be a nurse. Combined with the other allegations, which were supported by evidence and made out, the respondent was found to have committed professional misconduct. The Tribunal ordered that the respondent be reprimanded in respect of each ground, her registration be cancelled and that she be prohibited from reapplying for re-registration for a two year period. Among the evidence was a fraudulent Technical and Further Education Commission (TAFE) document confirming possession of a diploma of nursing which had been altered to be in the respondent's name.



Aged Care (Bond Security) Amendment Bill 2013

Aged Care (Bond Security) Levy Amendment Bill 2013

Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Bill 2013

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Bill 2013

National Health Security Amendment Commencement Proclamation 2013

Aged Care (Residential Care Subsidy - Amount of Transitional Supplement) Determination 2013 (No. 1)

Aged Care (Residential Care Subsidy - Amount of Respite Supplement) Determination 2013 (No. 1)

Aged Care (Residential Care Subsidy - Amount of Pensioner Supplement) Determination 2013 (No. 1)

Aged Care (Residential Care Subsidy - Amount of Accommodation Supplement) Determination 2013 (No. 1)

User Rights Amendment Principles 2013 (No. 1)

Aged Care (Residentail Care Subsidy - Amount of Transitional Accommodation Supplement) Determination 2013 (No. 1)

Aged Care (Residential Care Subsidy - Amount of Concessional Resident Supplement) Determination 2013 (No. 1)

National Health (Weighted average disclosure price - main disclosure cycle) Amendment Determination 2013 (No. 1) (No. PB 18 of 2013)

New South Wales

Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2013


Australia. Department of Health & Ageing


13 March 2013 - Government to establish chief allied health officer. Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, announced that the Government would establish the Commonwealth's first Chief Allied Health Officer to support the work of thousands of important health professionals.

13 March 2013 - Religious and cultural leaders unite for launch of "Donatelife...the greatest gift" community education kit

8 March 2013 - Briefing on proposed changes to the Aged Care ACT 1997

7 March 2013 - Aged care workforce supplement

12 March 2013 - Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Post market review of products used for diabetes management. The public submissions from stage two of the review focusing on insulin pumps have now been published. More information about the review is available on the Diabetes Review page.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency & the boards

15 March 2013 - The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is taking the next step towards auditing nurses and midwives' compliance with Board-approved mandatory registration standards. | Read Article

15 March 2013 - Call for Nominations or Expressions of Interest for a health practitioner to join the Psychology Board of Australia. | Read Article

12 March 2013 - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia releases its latest communique. | Read Article

8 March 2013 - Are you a national or international privately practising midwife? Your opinion counts. | Read Article

12 March 2013 - The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

8 March 2013 - The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia releases its first newsletter. | Read Article

14 March 2013 - The Osteopathy Board releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

12 March 2013 - The Psychology Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

14 March 2013 - Dementia care in hospitals: costs and strategies media release

13 March 2013 - Cancer screening programs in Australia media release

8 March 2013 - Child protection Australia 2011-12 media release

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Accreditation Outcome Results (PDF 382 KB)

On the Radar – 11 March 2013 – Issue 118 (103KB)

Australia. National Mental Health Commission

12 March 2013 - Celebrating 20 years

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

8 March 2013 - Research Tracker

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

15 March 2013 - Compositional guideline: Trefriw Wells mineral water - Added to current compositional guideline page.

15 March 2013 - Program implementation guide for Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) staff - Updated publication to reflect minor changes in the allocation of project responsibilities.

14 March 2013 - Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) - Added fibrin haemostatic agent/sealant (Evicel), ezetimibe (Ezetrol), somatropin (Humatrope), influenza virus haemagglutinin (Pandemrix H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine), olmesartan medoxomil (Olmetec) and rifaximin (Xifaxan).

13 March 2013 - Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines business process reform: Key points - Key points on the business process reforms for over-the-counter medicines which are being undertaken in order to improve the current system, and to develop a common approach by Australia and New Zealand.

13 March 2013 - OTC medicines business process reform: outcome of consultation - A summary and description of the outcomes of the OTC medicines business process reform consultation.

13 March 2013 - Consultation: OTC medicines business process reform - Submissions received in response to the consultation.

13 March 2013 - Update on TGA decision to cancel prescription pain-killers - The TGA is providing updated information to the public and to health professionals about the regulatory status of dextropropoxyphene-containing pain-killers.

13 March 2013 - Nature's Child Pty Limited (Complaint No. 2011-09-020) - Decision under regulation 9 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulation (1990) in relation to an advertisement about the products "Amber Necklace, Amber Bracelet, Wonder Balm and Bottom Balm."

13 March 2013 - Advisory Committee on the Safety of Vaccines (ACSOV) - Updated members and contact information.

12 March 2013 - Manufacturing information on medicine labels - On a medicine label you can find the name and address of the Australian sponsor or supplier of the goods.

12 March 2013 - Electronic cigarettes Updated information about electronic cigarettes.

Australian Capital Territory. Health Directorate

8 March 2013 - 2013 Health Promotion Awards. Nominations are now open for the ACT 2013 Health Promotion Awards.

New South Wales. Ministry of Health

Media Releases

15 March 2013 - Final boost for Albury cancer patient accommodation

14 March 2013 - Labor Mocks Hard Work Of NSW Hospitals

14 March 2013 - Patients receiving faster treatment in NSW hospitals

11 March 2013 - Tick of Approval for Outgoing Heart Foundation CEO

11 March 2013 - Major Step Forward for Mental Health Services in Wagga Wagga

11 March 2013 - Community Champions Appointed to Mental Health Commission

11 March 2013 - $2 million for Prince of Wales Hospital Emergency Department

11 February 2013 - NSW Health Reminds Public To Be Vigilant With 10 NSW Cases Linked to Victorian Cheese Recall

New South Wales. Bureau of Health Information

14 March 2013 - Hospital Quarterly: Performance of NSW public hospitals - October to December 2012 - Improved performance in NSW emergency departments (56.4 KB PDF) - Media backgrounder (102.2 KB PDF)

Queensland. Department of Health

Media Releases

Health Minister outlines commitment to rural and remote mums - Health Minister Lawrence Springborg today outlined a commitment to improve maternity services for rural and remote mothers.

Transparency of Union bosses part of Queensland Health Review - Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says Queensland Health policies mandating favoured support for the political agendas of union bosses and the Labor Party are under review.

Health Minister encourages PresCare staff to quit smoking today - Queensland's Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg will today encourage PresCare Aged Care Facility staff to take part in a Just Do it...Quit it, quit-smoking program.

South Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media Releases

14 March 2013 - New code of conduct to protect South Australians - Hon Jack Snelling MP. From today unregistered health practitioners will be required to comply with a new Code of Conduct, to ensure consistency of standards and the safe provision of services. Read more...

13 March 2013 - Mt Gambier Hospital redevelopment - Hon Jack Snelling MP. Construction is set to begin next month on the redevelopment of the Mount Gambier Hospital. Read more...

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services

Proposed changes to pregnancy termination laws in Tasmania - A woman will no longer face the threat of criminal charges for having a pregnancy termination under revised laws released.

Victoria. Department of Health

March 2013 - Health Victoria

Enhance community mental health initiative - Request for submissions for 2012-2013 capital funding – new projects. The Victorian Government is committed to enhancing the capabilities of community based non bed based clinical mental health services and Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation and Support services to support optimum outcomes for people with mental illness. In order to assist service providers to strengthen and extend service capabilities, $3 million additional capital funding has been made available. The Department of Health is now seeking submissions for these initiatives.

Western Australia. Department of Health

13 March 2013 - OD 0423/13 Influenza Vaccination for Pregnant Women. The purpose of this operational directive is to advise Department of Health staff that all pregnant women should be offered influenza vaccination as part of routine antenatal care.

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

14 March 2013 - Electric and Magnetic Fields and Your Health

13 March 2013 - What does ASD look like? quickcard-English

13 March 2013 - Primary Care for Pacific People: A Pacific and Health Systems Approach

United Kingdom. Department of Health

Call to action on reducing avoidable deaths - Improvements in the fight against the five major causes of death, including new plans to tackle cardiovascular disease, could save 30,000 lives by 2020, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced... Read more

Salt strategy aims to help reduce our salt consumption by a quarter

- A major drive to help reduce the amount of salt we eat, which includes setting targets with food companies, has been launched today by Public Health Minister Anna Soubry. Read more

Regulations on procurement, patient choice and competition laid - The government has laid regulations on procurement, patient choice and competition. The regulations are to help ensure that commissioners' decisions on buying clinical services are transparent and fair, and that... Read more

Chief Medical Officer publishes volume 2 of her annual report - The second volume of Professor Dame Sally Davies the Chief Medical Officer's annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases. The report highlights that, while a... Read more

United States of America. Department of Health & Human Services

Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie statement on the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act

Australian Medical Association

ACCC ruling on fee setting - what you need to know

British Medical Association

14 March 2013 - Central system simplifies deanery transfer process. Specialty trainees seeking to relocate due to personal circumstances will soon benefit from a nation...

14 March 2013 - BMA urges doctors to sign minimum pricing e-petition. Doctors are being urged to sign a BMA-backed petition to help persuade the government of the need to...

13 March 2013 - Out-of-hours care failings exposed by whistleblowers. Whistleblowers have been praised for raising concerns about clinical cover provided by a GP out-of-hours service.

11 March 2013 - Further delays to Karabus manslaughter trial-11 March 2013-The trial of a doctor held in the United Arab Emirates over the death of a child patient 10 years ago has been delayed yet again.

11 March 2013 - Competition regulations rewording a positive step. Changes to regulations governing patient choice and competition in the National Health Service are a positive step are a positive step, according to the British Medical Association.

Canadian Medical Association

14 March 2013 - Skepticism about proposed medical marijuana rules not limited to MDs: poll

11 March 2013 - Debt issues looming larger for students, residents: survey

American Medical Association (AMA)

12 March 2013 - AMA Recognizes National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Offers web-based educational program on hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes to physicians.

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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.

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