Australia: Health Alert (Australia) - 6 May 2013


Australian Information Commissioner

24 April 2013 - Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and Department of Health and Ageing [2013] AlCmr 52

Decision and reasons for decision of Acting Freedom of Information Commissioner, Toni Pirani.

South Australia. Coroner

8 April 2013 - Inquest into death of Terrill Anthony May 36/2011

The deceased, aged 69, died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which arose from a ruptured aneurysm, with contributing cardiomegaly. In the days prior to his death, the deceased had been experiencing health difficulties, including hypertension and headaches, for which he had sought medical assistance.

The Coroner found that the deceased's death was "entirely preventable" as he had sought treatment for his headaches in the weeks prior to his death, and during that period his treating practitioners at a medical centre and hospital missed opportunities to diagnose and treat his condition. Evidence demonstrated that had the deceased's brain aneurysm been recognised at the hospital where he had presented a fortnight before his death, as it ought to have been based on radiological imagery taken the day before, medical intervention could have saved his life. Medical intervention could have involved either endovascular means or with open surgery and clipping of the aneurysm.

An issue for the Court was the failure of a referral letter from the deceased's General Practitioner (GP) to arrive at the hospital's Emergency Department (ED) prior to the deceased's presentation. The Coroner's recommendations therefore included that procedures within the ED dealing with the alignment of referral letters with presenting patients be regularly reviewed. It also recommended that GPs referring patients with suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage be encouraged to verbally notify EDs of their patients' expected arrivals, and that GPs who have referred such patients carefully scrutinise discharge summaries and letters to ensure they are satisfied all relevant diagnostic information has been taken into account.

New South Wales. Medical Tribunal

29 April 2013 - Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) v Dr Annette Dao Quynh Do [2013] NSWMT 7

The respondent doctor obtained qualifications in New Zealand and was registered to practice in NSW from 1995 until 2009 when her name was removed from the Register because she had not paid her annual registration fee. In 2006 the doctor diagnosed her de facto partner with "cluster headaches" and in 2008 he died from a self-administered overdose of amitriptyline. An inquest was held into his death, which led to an investigation into the doctor's conduct. Two complaints were made against her.

The Tribunal found that the HCCC established the doctor was her partner's primary medical provider, and rejected the doctor's contention that she was merely a facilitator or coordinator of his real primary providers. Evidence showed the doctor prescribed her partner pethidine, morphine and amitriptyline when she knew he was drug dependant, if not addictive. This led the Tribunal to accept the HCCC's submission that the doctor's treatment of her partner was "erratic, contradictory, irresponsible and destructive." The Tribunal held this demonstrated that the doctor's knowledge, skill and judgment was significantly below the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner of equivalent training or experience. The doctor admitted she failed to keep adequate records in contravention of clause 5 of the Medical Practice Regulation 2003 and clause 37 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2002. The Tribunal held this failure was made more serious because of the large number of different and potentially dangerous medications involved.

The Tribunal therefore found the doctor guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.

19 April 2013 - Balafras v Medical Council of NSW [2013] NSWMT 4

Medical Tribunal - application for review of earlier deregistration orders - whether case for reinstatement has been made out.

3 April 2013 - Michael Bar - Mordecai v Medical Council of NSW [2013] NSWNMT 5

Medical practitioner - application to disqualify Deputy Chairperson refused - application to Tribunal struck out as an abuse of process - failures to comply with conditions of Supreme Court leave and directions of the Tribunal - inherent power in Tribunal of its own motion to strike out proceedings as an abuse of process.

22 April 2013 - HCCC v Rahman [2013] NSWMT 6

Serious criminal conduct, deregistration.

Tasmania. Magistrates Court

25 February 2013 - An inquest touching the death of Joanne Jean York.

Death in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) following gastric banding surgery.



National health (Weighted average disclosed price - main disclosure cycle) Determination 2013 (No. 1) (No. PB 26 of 2013).

National health (Weighted average disclosed price - supplementary disclosure cycle A) Determination 2013 (No. PB 24 of 2013).

National health (Listing of Pharmaceutical Benefits) Amendment Instrument 2013 (No. 5) (No. PB 21 of 2013).


Australia. Prime Minister

1 May 2013 - Locking in a fairer future for Australians with disability.

Australia. Department of Health and Ageing

2 May 2013 - Increased support for young people living with cancer.

1 May 2013 - Productive ageing for older Australians.

28 April 2013 - Public servants to mark their contribution to Canberra.

Australia. National Mental Health Commission

1 May 2013 - Scoping study.

26 April 2013 - National contributing life project - Have your say.

Australia. Health Workforce Australia (HWA)

Clinical supervision support program - The quality of clinical supervision is one key influence on the quality of the clinical placement, and ultimately, on the calibre of the health practitioner.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) video updates - HWA CEO, Mr Mark Cormack, provides an update on HWA's activities in the health workforce sector in Australia.

Australia. Productivity Commission

Better Indigenous policies - Proceedings for the Commission's 2012 roundtable better Indigenous policies: The role of evaluation are now available.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

2 May 2013 - ABS conducting largest survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Australia. National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)

23 April 2013 - NEHTA proud to be a Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) partner. PAW is an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum (APPA) held every year to promote awareness of privacy issues and the importance of the protection of personal information. PAW 2013 is from 28 April to 4 May 2013 and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will celebrate the week with a series of events and the release of new privacy guidance and products. Their focus for PAW 2013 is privacy law reform. | Read Article

19 April 2013 - Supply chain goes west. In February supply chain representatives from the NEHTA met with Health Corporate Network (HCN), provider of Shared Services to Western Australian (WA) Health, and a number of WA Health stakeholders to review the progress made in their use of the National Product Catalogue, the NEHTA eProcurement solution and to discuss future electronic trading initiatives. | Read Article

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) & the boards

2 May 2013 - The National Boards have released their quarterly registration data. | Read Article

29 April 2013 - The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is pleased with a strong start to the registration renewal campaign. | Read Article

26 April 2013 - The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA have issued a statement. | Read Article

30 April 2013 - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia (ATSI) releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

29 April 2013 - The Chiropractic Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

1 May 2013 - The Medical Board releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

26 April 2013 - The Queensland Board of the Medical Board of Australia has issued a statement. | Read Article

29 April 2013 - The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is pleased with a strong start to the registration renewal campaign. | Read Article

26 April 2013 - The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has published a revised fact sheet on enrolled nurses and medicine administration. | Read Article

26 April 2013 - The Pharmacy Board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read Article

30 April 2013 - The Psychology Board has released its new Guidelines for supervisors and supervisor training providers. | Read Article

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Consultation draft: National core hospital-based outcome indicator specification.

Advisory A13/02: Interim accreditation of new health services.

Advisory A13/01: Notification of significant risk in the private sector.

Partnering with consumers newsletter - Issue 9.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

2 May 2013 - Development of nationally consistent subacute and non-acute admitted patient care data definitions and guidelines.

1 May 2013 - Indigenous identification in hospital separations data: quality report.

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

3 May 2013 - Consultation: Proposed amendments to the new regulatory framework for In Vitro Diagnostic medical devices (IVDs). The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on four outstanding issues that have been identified during the first two years (July 2010 – July 2012) of the transition period of the new regulatory framework for IVDs. Closing date: 31 May 2013.

2 May 2013 - Australian TGA Council meeting statement, meeting 2, 5 February 2013 - The Australian TGA Council (the Council) met for the second time at Parliament House on Tuesday 5 February 2013.

2 May 2013 - Australian TGA Council. Updated information.

2 May 2013 - International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF) invites public comment. Four public consultations are now open for comment.

1 May 2013 - BSN Hyper Shred capsules. BSN Hyper Shred capsules pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken

1 May 2013 - Advertising medical services that include schedule 4 substances. Updated information.

1 May 2013 - Invitation for public comment - Advisory Committee on Medicine Scheduling (ACMS) meeting, July 2013. Notice inviting public submission under Regulation 42ZCZK of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990. Closing date: 30 May 2013

29 April 2013 - Manufacturer audits are now termed inspections. The TGA is changing its terminology - the word "inspection" is replacing the word "audit."

29 April 2013 - Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) - Added Budesonide/Eformoterol (Symbicort Rapihaler).

29 April 2013 - Advisory Committee on Medical Devices (ACMD) meeting statement, Meeting 12, 15 March 2013 - Advice provided by the ACMD to the TGA on matters relating to premarket conformity assessment and post market monitoring.

26 April 2013 - Documents released under Section 11C of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Added FOI 173-1213, FOI 176-1213 and FOI 178-1213.

Australian Capital Territory. Health Directorate

1 May 2013 - National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) levy the right thing to do - Katy Gallagher, MLA.

30 April 2013 - Over $950,000 provided to keep the community healthy - Katy Gallagher, MLA.

26 April 2013 - Another chance to have your say on Mental Health Act Review - Katy Gallagher, MLA.

New South Wales. Ministry of Health

Media releases

2 May 2013 - World class hospital for northern beaches.

24 April 2013 - NSW Government commits to paediatric critical care services in the Hunter.

24 April 2013 - New cochlear implant centre for western Sydney.


24 April 2013 - NSW Health & Ageing and Disability and Home Care (ADHC) joint guideline - GL2013_001.

New South Wales. Health Statistics

Knee and hip replacement procedures.

Northern Territory. Department of Health

Media releases

Adam Giles / Robyn Lambley - Improving elective surgery outcomes. Medical staff and clinicians at Royal Darwin Hospital are on track to meet a number of key elective surgery targets – including the Government's commitment to perform 400 additional elective procedures by July.

Adam Giles - Gillard in wrong territory on Banned Drinkers Register (BDR). Chief Minister Adam Giles has slammed the Prime Minister's loosely veiled threat to cut funding to the Territory if the Government doesn't reinstate the failed BDR.

Robyn Lambley - World immunisation week. The importance of child immunisation programs and annual flu jabs will be in the spotlight during world immunisation week, which was launched at Parliament House tonight.

Queensland. Department of Health

Media releases

Hospital performance gets wider exposure - Health Minister Lawrence Springborg today delivered on his promise to publish quarterly performance data for Queensland's Hospital and Health Services when a 'warts and all view' appeared in many local newspapers.

Union bosses bankrolled outsourcing policies under Labor. State Parliament has been told union bosses wrote out cheques for hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Labor Party as Labor Ministers were authorising almost $1 billion in outsourcing of health services.

It's official: Queensland hospitals won't be privatised. The Newman Government has officially ruled out privatising any existing public hospitals in Queensland as it continues to rebuild Queensland Health.

South Australia. Department for Health & Ageing

Media release

29 April 2013 - Review of Patient Assistance Transport Scheme. The State Government will review the patient assistance transport scheme, which offers financial assistance for people in regional areas who need to travel to access services. | Read Article

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

25 April 2013 - Major $29 million expansion for northern hospital. A new three story wing will be constructed at the northern hospital in Epping with the major expansion to meet the needs of the growing population in the Northern suburbs, Premier Denis Napthine announced today.

22 April 2013 - Largest ever boost for mental health in the west. A new 54 bed acute mental health facility will be built in Werribee in Melbourne's West, Premier Denis Napthine said today.

1 May 2013 - Government launches $22 million investment for heart disease and stroke. The Victorian Coalition Government will spend $21.9 million over four years to ramp up Victoria's response to heart attacks and strokes, Minister for Health David Davis announced today.

28 April 2013 - Western Region to benefit from new dental infrastructure. The Victorian Coalition Government will provide $9.7 million for the long awaited replacement of the western region health centre's public dental services clinic, Health Minister David Davis announced today.

2 May 2013 - Latest population health profiles released.

30 April 2013 - Multi-million dollar boost for our hospitals.

Mental Health - Rural Workforce Innovation Grant Program - The Department of Health has funding available in 2013 for innovative workforce redesign and reform activities that focus on workforce utilisation and sustainability. For more information, please visit their web page.

Good practice guide to performance management of nurses and midwives - In 2012, the department commissioned Shaw Idea Pty Ltd to develop a good practice guide that identifies the features of best practice performance management and how it relates to the prevention of bullying. This guide: establishes a framework for dealing promptly with negative behaviour at work, before it becomes entrenched or persistent; and ensures that performance management contributes to a workplace culture that treats nurses and midwives with dignity and respect. Click here to download the guide.

19 April 2013 - Clinical Trial Research Forum. Forum Presentations 19 April, 2013 Consumer Issues in Clinical Trials - Christine Veljanoski presentation - John Stubbs presentation.

Western Australia. Department of Health

2 May 2013 - Minister for Health: Surge in doctor numbers in the great southern.

26 April 2013 - Meningococcal disease infection.

1 May 2013 - Radiology service now at new Albany health campus.

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

2 May 2013 - Review of the children's spectacle subsidy.

United Kingdom. Department of Health

26 April 2013 - Health secretary to strengthen patient privacy on confidential data use. The Health secretary today responded to the Caldicott review, outlining how technology can have a transformational effect on healthcare.

Independent report - Review of the regulation of cosmetic interventions.

2 May 2013 - The use of antiretroviral therapy to reduce HIV transmission - Policy paper.

26 April 2013 - Caldicott review: information governance in the health and care system. Independent report.

Department of Health complaints performance 2013.

Developing new standards for social care.

Sourcing blood plasma for import into the United Kingdom.

Management and decontamination of flexible endoscopes.

United States of America. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

26 April 2013 - HHS secretary Sebelius announces Senate confirmation of William B. Schultz, nominee for general counsel, Department of Health and Human Services. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that, last night, the United States Senate confirmed William Schultz as general counsel.

29 April 2013 - Translating veterans' medical skills into nursing careers. Today, at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing, Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new program to help military veterans with health care experience or training, such as medics, pursue nursing careers.

Australian Medical Association (AMA)

High bar set to dob in a doctor.

AMA supports increase in Medicare levy to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Tax changes will down skill Australia's medical workforce.

Medical expenses a small part of total out of pocket costs for health care.

British Medical Association (BMA)

2 May 2013 - Juniors don't have time to deliver quality care, BMA survey reveals. More than one in four junior doctors feel they do not have the time to deliver the quality of care that patients deserve, according to a BMA survey.

1 May 2013 - Public health priorities welcomed. Doctors leaders have welcomed the release of the Public Health England (PHE) priorities for its first year of operation.

30 April 2013 - GP raises alarm over fragmentation of practice services. A GP has expressed concern about the fragmentation of National Health Scheme (NHS) care after ancillary services were moved from her surgery.

26 April 2013 - Key role for doctors explaining data confidentiality. Doctors will play a key role in helping patients understand how their personal data can be used to improve car and help research. BMA disputes Government analysis of emergency care pressures. The causes are complex and not fully understood - Read our response.

Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

2 May 2013 - Medical education a booming business, latest Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) data show.

29 April 2013 - CMA takes fight against cage fighting to Commons committee.

24 April 2013 - Will a guaranteed annual income help eliminate health inequity?

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