New South Wales. Health Practitioners Tribunal
The respondent pharmacist was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct in respect of two separate notices of complaint. The Tribunal ordered his registration be cancelled.
The first complaint related to the pharmacist supplying prescribed restricted substances in quantities and for purposes which did not accord with recognised therapeutic standards. The second complaint concerned a number of breaches of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act (NSW), including supply without prescriptions and failing to ensure that patients used their medications as intended and were adequately instructed about doses.
The Tribunal stated that its jurisdiction is protective of the community, not punitive of the practitioner. Therefore, it must have regard for the maintenance of professional standards to protect the standing and regulation of the profession further to its protection of the public. The Tribunal stated that the community is entitled to have trust in the practising profession as the pharmacist is the community's custodian of potentially harmful medications. This role is clearly intended by the statutory controls on medications pursuant to the various provisions of the Act and Regulations. The statutory obligations upon a pharmacist are unequivocal in their demands; they allow for no departure expect in limited circumstances. For the statutory requirements to be effective in protecting the community, pharmacists must comply with then. For a pharmacist to be ignorant of or to ignore them is unacceptable. Compliance with such legal and professional obligations is fundamental to a pharmacist's practice and remains a paramount responsibility at all times.
New South Wales. Nursing & Midwivery Tribunal
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia refused the appellant's application for re-registration on the basis that she did not meet the Recency of Practice Standard (the Standard). The Tribunal refused the appeal, upholding the Board's decision. The appeal addressed the interpretation of the Standard.
Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, if a registered nurse applies for renewal of their registration the nurse must provide a declaration that they have met any recency of practice requirements in an approved standard. The NSW Standard came into effect on 1 July 2010. In March 2010 the Board published the Re-Entry to Practice Policy (the Policy), to be read in conjunction with the Standard.
The Tribunal stated that the Policy is designed to facilitate and guide application of the Standard in particular cases. The Tribunal accepted that it should have regard to such policy and should consistently interpret the Standard in conformity with the policy. While the Standard is not a legislative instrument, its authority is recognised under the national law. The interpretation of the Standard must be the interpretation that adopts as paramount the objectives and principle set out in the national law.
For re-registration of a nurse out of practise for under five years, such as the appellant, the Standards require evidence of practise equivalent to three months full time nursing and completion of a postgraduate award and/or evidence of a Board approved course prior to application. The Tribunal held that the appellant's evidence of her hours engaged in practise did not meet these Standards.
18 April 2013 - Advance Care Directives Act 2013 - Assent
Australia. Department of Health & Ageing
18 April 2013 - New approach to evaluation of over the counter (OTC) medicines in Australia and New Zealand. A new streamlined process for assessing medicines sold over the counter takes effect this week marking a major step towards establishing a single Trans-Tasman regulatory agency for therapeutic products.
14 April 2013 - New anti-smoking campaign 'Stop before the suffering starts.' Health Minister, The Hon Tanya Plibersek, has launched a brand new wave of anti-smoking advertising in the Australian Government's latest world leading efforts to help Australians stop smoking for good.
Private Health Insurance Circulars
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) & the Boards
16 April 2013 - AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia will work with Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg to introduce changes to health complaints management in Queensland. | Read Article
15 April 2013 - Call for nominations or expressions of interest for health practitioners and community members to join the Physiotherapy Board of Australia's List of approved persons for panel appointments. | Read Article
17 April 2013 - The Dental Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article
15 April 2013 - The Pharmacy Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article
12 April 2013 - The Podiatry Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare
Australia. Productivity Commission
Report on Government Services 2013 : indigenous compendium.
Part E health sector overview - Overview and attachment tables (PDF - 916 Kb) - Attachment tables only (XLS - 194 Kb).
Chapter 10 Public hospitals - Chapter and attachment tables (PDF - 728 Kb) - Attachment tables only (XLS - 140 Kb).
Chapter 12 Mental health management - Chapter and attachment tables (PDF - 627 Kb) - Attachment tables only (XLS - 114 Kb).
Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
18 April 2013 - Ziyinzhuangyang tablets pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken.
18 April 2013 - Maxman III capsules pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken.
18 April 2013 - New approach to evaluation of OTC medicines in Australia and New Zealand - Media release from The Hon Shayne Neumann MP
17 April 2013 - FreeStyle InsuLinx blood glucose meter. Abbott Diabetes Care, after consultation with the TGA, has initiated a recall for product correction for its FreeStyle InsuLinx blood glucose meter.
16 April 2013 - OTC medicines reforms: Information forums - Information forums will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland to explain the new OTC medicines streamlined processes and use of the guidelines and tools.
16 April 2013 - Consultation: Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines (ARGCM) Part C: Evaluation of complementary medicine substances for use in listed medicines. The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on the draft document Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines (ARGCM) Part C: Evaluation of complementary medicine substances for use in listed medicines. Closing date: 14 May 2013.
15 April 2013 - Australian regulatory guidelines for OTC medicines (ARGOM) - New and updated guidelines reflecting the new administrative procedures for the evaluation of OTC medicines.
15 April 2013 - Availability of morphine sulfate injection products: Information for health professionals - Updated posters and added new DHCPL letter from Hospira.
12 April 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.
Australian Capital Territory. (ACT) Health Directorate
15 April 2013 - Reviews confirm need for secure mental health facility in the ACT - Katy Gallagher, MLA.
16 April 2013 - 2013 ACT Health Sector Winter Plan - ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly, advises that ACT Health is preparing for a busy winter.
12 April 2013 - Warning issued following overdose - ACT Health and police have issued a warning to the community following an accidental drug overdose.
New South Wales. Ministry of Health
17 April 2013 - Major step forward for Shoalhaven mental health unit.
16 April 2013 - Plans for Parkes and Forbes hospitals taking shape.
15 April 2013 - Pregnant women urged to get their flu shot.
Queensland. Department of Health
Minister unveils $3.7 million plan to enhance children's health care across Queensland - Minister for Health | The Honourable Lawrence Springborg | Children and their families across Queensland will benefit from improved access to specialist paediatric services regardless of where they live, under a plan launched today by Health Minister Lawrence Springborg.
Damning reports pave the way for new Health Ombudsman - Minister for Health | The Honourable Lawrence Springborg | Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has announced dramatic changes to the administration of health complaints in Queensland, following the tabling of two damning reports in Parliament today.
South Australia. Department of Health
Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services
17 April 2013 - Stay on your feet.
16 April 2013 - Stainforth court rejuvenation.
12 April 2013 - Medical imaging upgrade.
Victoria. Department of Health
18 April 2013 - Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry joins Minister to prevent flu in the workplace. The business community has backed Victorian Health Minister David Davis in calling for employers to vaccinate their staff against this year's strain of influenza.
18 April 2013 - Victoria urges Commonwealth to commit to four year Aboriginal health funding agreement. The Victorian Government has welcomed the Commonwealth's contribution to improving Aboriginal health through a new National Partnership Agreement, but has challenged it to match Victoria's increased investment and commit to a four year agreement.
16 April 2013 - Coalition delivers $1.7 million for Cancer Council Victoria research. Cancer Council Victoria will receive $1.7 million as part of a $60 million Victorian Coalition Government boost over the next four years to cancer research in Victoria.
16 April 2013 - Revamped Victorian Cancer Agency to boost cancer research. Minister for Health David Davis today announced the start of the new Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) Consultative Council led by Professor Robert Thomas OAM.
14 April 2013 - New ambulance station in Frankston officially opens. Minister for Health David Davis today officially opened a new state of the art home for specialist mobile intensive care ambulance paramedics in Frankston.
14 April 2013 - New ambulance station in Knox officially opens. Minister for Health David Davis, together with Member for Bayswater Heidi Victoria and Member for Ferntree Gully Nick Wakeling, today officially opened the new state of the art Knox ambulance branch in Wantirna.
14 April 2013 - New ambulance station in Chelsea officially opens. Minister for Health David Davis today officially opened the new state of the art Chelsea ambulance station.
13 April 2013 - Mental health first with new Bendigo Hospital. People with mental illness will have access to the best possible care in a unique psychiatric facility at the new Bendigo Hospital, Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said today.
15 April 2013 - Bigger and better Bendigo Hospital gets closer. The New Bendigo Hospital Project is a step closer to reality with the Exemplar consortium now chosen as the preferred bidder to progress the $630 million capital works program.
18 April 2013 - Immunisation Week puts vaccination front and centre. World Health Organization (WHO) 2013 Immunisation Week launches in Australia on Saturday 20 April.
Consumer partnership forum - The Minister for Mental Health (the Minister) invited Victorian clinical and non-clinical mental health services to nominate a consumer workforce member to engage directly in a new Mental Health Consumer Partnership approach. The Victorian Government is committed to a program of important reform for mental health that includes a strong consumer and carer voice. As a consequence, the Department of Health (the Department), Mental Health Drugs and Regions Division (MHDR) have established the Consumer Partnership Dialogues (Consumer Partnership) to facilitate collaboration across the Department, the consumer workforce and the peak, the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council. The regular dialogues will establish an ongoing opportunity for engagement with the consumer community in relation to the implementation of mental health initiatives to improve outcomes for mental health consumers and their families. For further information contact Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council or email them by clicking here.
Carer Partnership Forum - The Minister invited Victorian clinical and non-clinical mental health services to nominate a carer workforce member to engage directly in a new Mental Health Carer Partnership approach. The Victorian Government is committed to a program of important reform for mental health that includes a strong consumer and carer voice. As a consequence, the Department and MHDR have established the Carer Partnership to facilitate collaboration across the Department, the carer workforce and the peak, the Victorian Mental Health Carers Network. The regular dialogues will establish an ongoing opportunity for engagement with the carer community in relation to the implementation of mental health initiatives to improve outcomes for mental health consumers and their families or other carers. For further information contact Victorian Mental Health Carers Network or email them by clicking here.
Western Australia. Department of Health
17 April 2013 - Fish kills reported in Vasse Wonnerup inlet near Busselton.
17 April 2013 - Minister for Health: Open day for $170m Albany health campus.
17 April 2013 - Operational directive (OD) 0428/13. Disaster flag activation for patient administration systems. This OD aims to detail the roles and responsibilities for the activation and deactivation of disaster flags and associated reporting extracts in patient administration systems.
17 April 2013 - OD 0427/13. HA215B Reporting rules and guidelines for non-admitted patient services. This OD describes the HA215B reporting requirements and timeframes for non-admitted patient services, as required for the WA Department of Health (DOH). Timely distribution of this OD is pivotal to the data reporting practices and provision of data supporting the implementation of Activity Based Funding, and Commonwealth reporting obligations. Furthermore, the procedures and time frames documented in the current OD 0396/12 are no longer valid.
17 April 2013 - Information circular (IC) 0141/13. Statutory public holidays for 2013.
17 April 2013 - IC 0140/13. Advice on variation of the enrolled nurses and nursing assistants (Government) award.
17 April 2013 - IC 0139/13. Revised eyesight screening and testing policy.
17 April 2013 - IC 0138/13. WA Government health services engineering and building services award 2004 – Variation Of Allowance – Leading Hand Allowance - Variation in leading hand allowance.
New Zealand. Ministry of Health
18 April 2013 - Regional results from the 2011/12 New Zealand health survey. These data tables give regional estimates from the 2011/12 New Zealand health survey, for the four regions, and for larger public health units and district health boards. Read more.
16 April 2013 - Hazardous drinking in 2011/12: Findings from the New Zealand health survey. This report presents key findings about alcohol use and hazardous drinking among adults aged 15 years and over. These results come from the 2011/12 New Zealand health survey. Read more.
United Kingdom. Department of Health
Canada. Health Canada
United States of America. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology (Health IT) workgroup to discuss patient safety, innovation, and regulatory efficiency. Members of a new workgroup that will focus on identifying key considerations to improve patient safety and promote innovation in Health IT, including mobile medical applications, have been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The workgroup will report to the Health IT Policy Committee which advises the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).
HHS offers moms knowledge, help, and support through a new breastfeeding initiative, 'It's only natural.' Today, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA announced the launch of It's Only Natural, a new public education campaign that aims to raise awareness among African American women of the importance of and benefits associated with breastfeeding and provide helpful tips.
Australian Medical Association
British Medical Association (BMA)
18 April 2013 - Doctors seek further assurances on enforced competition. Doctors want controversial NHS procurement regulations withdrawn for a second time and replaced with ones that explicitly rule out enforced competition.
17 April 2013 - BMA backs professional development demands. A general medical study that suggests employers need to do more to support doctors in their professional development has been welcomed by the BMA.
16 April 2013 - Clinician tasked with turning mid staffs around. A doctor has been put in charge of determining the future of the troubled Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.
15 April 2013 - Doctors fear quality and outcomes framework (QOF) interferes with patient care. Family doctors have questioned whether the QOF is in the best interests of patients.
15 April 2013 - General practitioners (GPs) push for improved translation services. GPs have called for a more robust and reliable interpreting service for foreign national patients in Northern Ireland.
Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
18 April 2013 - CMA's 2013 leadership conference rapidly approaching capacity.
American Medical Association (AMA)
14 April 2013 - AMA: Put an end to human gene patents. AMA statement - The American Medical Association urges the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent irreparable harm to patient care by upholding the legal limits on human gene patents.
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