Australia: Health Alert (Australia) - 3 June 2013


New South Wales (NSW)

29 May 2013 - Rasmussen v South Western Sydney Local Health District [2013] NSWSC 656

The plaintiff was the mother of a child who died when he was four days old, due to the hospital's negligence. The plaintiff claimed damages for nervous shock arising from her son's death. The defendant admitted liability and accepted the plaintiff had suffered a recognisable psychiatric injury by reason of her son's death. The issue before the Court was quantum.

Judge Adamson awarded damages to the plaintiff totalling $366,903.60, broken down into the following heads:

  • Non-economic loss:
$214,000 (40% of the most extreme case)
  • Past economic loss:
  • Interest on past economic loss:
  • Past loss of superannuation:
  • Future economic loss:
  • Domestic assistance:
  • Past treatment:
  • Future treatment expenses:

Her Honour considered in detail the plaintiff's loss of earning capacity. The plaintiff claimed she would have returned to full time work if her son had lived. However Her Honour critically examined the plaintiff's evidence which reflected a hypothetical intention. Her Honour stated that s 5D(3) of the Civil Liability Act 2002 served to render largely inadmissible plaintiff's evidence as to what they would have done if the negligent person had not been negligent. Her Honour was satisfied that, but for her son's death, the plaintiff would likely have achieved a higher level in her employment, but was not satisfied that she would have returned to full-time work while her children were young. Her Honour also recognised that the traumatic event of her son's death and its consequences will result in the diminution of her future earning capacity.

New South Wales. Pharmacy Tribunal

27 May 2013 - Health Care Complaints Commission of NSW (HCCC) v Cahill [2013] NSWPHT 4

Pharmacist - complaints - convictions - offences - possession and supply - drugs of addiction - prescribed restricted substances - prohibited drugs - self-administration - fail comply with storage requirements; fail enter drug register; Poisons & Therapeutic Goods Act; 1966; Drugs Misuse & Trafficking Act 1985; unsatisfactory professional conduct - professional misconduct - not suitable person to hold registration as pharmacist - impairment.

New South Wales. Medical Tribunal

22 May 2013 - HCCC v Dr Maendel (No 2) [2013] NSWMT 10

New South Wales. Chiropractors Tribunal

21 May 2013 - HCCC v Woods (No 2) [2013] NSWCHT 2

Health practitioner - chiropractor – unsatisfactory professional conduct – professional misconduct – boundary violations - complaints by four female patient re: inappropriate comments, touching, text messaging - lack of consent.

Victoria. Coroners Court

22 May 2013 - Inquest into the death of Corey Irving Wright COR-2006-3504.

Death by suicide - involuntary psychiatric patient.

Western Australia

24 May 2013 - LS v Mental Health Review Board [2013] WASCA 128

On 22 July 2011, the appellant commenced proceedings in the State Administrative Tribunal seeking review of the Mental Health Review Board's decision to continue her involuntary psychiatric admission. On 15 August the appellant was discharged on a community treatment order but on 22 August the Board found the Community Treatment Order (CTO) had not been validly made under the Mental Health Act. The Board determined she was no longer an involuntary patient and it did not have jurisdiction to review her involuntary status. On 20 April 2012 the Tribunal dismissed the appellant's application for review because the Tribunal had no jurisdiction as the patient was no longer involuntary. The appellant appealed.

The grounds of appeal were that the Tribunal made errors of law in concluding that when a person ceases to be an involuntary patient, the Tribunal's power and the obligation of the Board to carry out reviews "falls away." The Court found that the Tribunal's task was to determine whether, at the date of review, the involuntary order should continue to have effect. The Tribunal's jurisdiction did not "fall away;" it's power was to dismiss the proceedings due to lack of substance or strike it out for judicial review. The Court also held that the Board is required to carry out review of whether involuntary orders should continue to have effect. The review provision of the Act only applies if the person has been continuously an involuntary patient. The Tribunal therefore did not err in law, and the appeal was dismissed.



Imported Food Warning Labels Bill 2013.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Legislation Amendment Act 2013.

Medicare Levy Amendment (DisabilityCare Australia) Act 2013.

DisabilityCare Australia Fund Act 2013.

National health (Highly specialised drugs program for hospitals) special arrangement amendment instrument 2013 (No. 3).

Therapeutic goods (Manufacturing principles) determination No. 1 of 2013.

Therapeutic goods order no. 88 - Standards for donor selection, testing, and minimising infectious disease transmission via therapeutic goods that are human blood and blood components, human tissues and human cellular therapy products.

Dental benefits rules 2013.

New South Wales

Public Health Amendment (Vaccination of Children Attending Child Care Facilities) Bill 2013.


Public Health (Exclusion of Unvaccinated Children from Child Care) Amendment Bill 2013 - Private Members Bill.


Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

31 May 2013 - Newcastle headspace to help young people through hard times. Young people in Newcastle with mental health issues will get better support in dealing with their challenges, with the launch of a new headspace service in Newcastle.

30 May 2013 - More health professionals and services for rural Australia. Australians living in rural and remote areas will have better access to essential medical services thanks to a $179 million investment from the Gillard Government that will bring more health professionals to areas that have found it hard to attract them.

30 May 2013 - Retirement of Robyn Kruk AM. Ms Robyn Kruk AM has advised the Prime Minister that she will shortly retire from the Australian Public Service and from her role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Mental Health Commission.

29 May 2013 - Food and health dialogue communiqué. The Australian government has announced a further $800,000 to continue the ground breaking work of the Food and Health Dialogue.

28 May 2013 - Better dental care for young Australians. The Australian Government's $2.7 billion dental program Grow Up Smiling is now ready to help children access better dental health care from 1 January 2014.

28 May 2013 - Reducing over 2,000 tonnes of salt from our diets. The Australian Government is boosting its support for the Food and Health Dialogue, which is helping reduce over 2,000 tonnes of salt, as well as sugar and saturated fat in processed foods.

27 May 2013 - Aged care legislation passes the House of Representatives. Five bills have been passed in the House of Representatives today in a major step forward for the Australian Government's $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms.

27 May 2013 - Inflammatory bowel disease: High impact on young Australians. Inflammatory bowel diseases are having a disproportionate impact on younger Australians.

27 May 2013 - Kidney health week and a new reason to test for kidney function. At the launch of national Kidney Health Week, the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Shayne Neumann, announced that a kidney function test will be added to the minimum requirements of the annual cycle of care under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) diabetes incentive to encourage GP's to identify chronic kidney disease in patients with diabetes earlier.

27 May 2013 - Report on pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) contradicts flawed Medicines Australia analysis. A new Federal Government and industry report reveals the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme continues to grow with new drug listings and increased demand for existing drugs the main drivers of increased spending.

26 May 2013 - Myths and realities about immunisation revealed in new booklet. Practitioners and parents will be provided with latest scientific information on immunisation with the release of the newest edition of the Immunisation Myths and Realities booklet, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced today.

24 May 2013 - Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) launches new website. FSANZ's website has been refreshed with a new look and feel and improved navigation - benefiting the thousands of visitors it receives every day.

24 May 2013 - Independent review of health workforce programs released. The final report of the independent review into Australian Government's health workforce programs has been released.

Private Health Insurance Circulars

PHI 31/13 New private (same day) hospital information

PHI 30/13 New private (same day) hospital information

PHI 29/13 Closure of private (same day) hospital information

Aged care

30 May 2013 - Fact sheet - Changes to the aged care funding instrument from 1 July 2013.

24 May 2013 - Information on principles, amendments, draft subsidy and aged care rates.

23 May 2013 - Information on Department's 3rd submission and Aged Care Funding Authority updates.

May 2013 - Myths and Realities is a resource for immunisation providers to help answer patients' questions and concerns about immunisation. This new edition of Myths and Realities has been prepared by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). Hard copies will be distributed to all immunisation providers from June 2013. | Read article

Trends in and drivers of PBS expenditure (PDF 599 KB)

Australia. COAG Reform Council

Healthcare 2011-12 - Comparing performance across Australia - Our fourth report on the national healthcare agreement finds Australians are smoking less and living longer, but obesity rates are rising. This agreement aims to improve health outcomes for all Australians, and improve the sustainability of our health system. | Read article

Disability 2011-12 - Comparing performance across Australia - Our fourth report on the National Disability Agreement finds that more needs to be done to assist people with disability to enjoy the same opportunities as other Australians. This agreement aims to remove the barriers to economic and social participation faced by people with disability and their carers. | Read article

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

31 May 2013 - Consultation: Consultation regulation impact statement: Regulating the advertising of therapeutic goods to the general public. The TGA is seeking comments on proposals for the future regulatory framework for advertising of therapeutic goods to the general public. Closing date: 12 July 2013.

31 May 2013 - Submissions received: Joint TGA and Medsafe project: Trans-Tasman early warning system of safety concerns with medicines and medical devices.

30 May 2013 - Cyproterone: Products containing cyproterone with ethinyloestradiol, such as Diane- 35. Updated information for health professionals and consumers regarding a safety advisory on Diane-35.

30 May 2013 - Conference participation by the TGA. Added a list informing stakeholders about TGA participation in events and conferences.

30 May 2013 - Advisory committee on the safety of medical devices (ACSMD) meeting statement, meeting 3, 2 May 2013. Added the ACSMD meeting statement, Meeting 3, 2 May 2013.

30 May 2013 - Documents released under Section 11C of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Added FOI 156-1213.

29 May 2013 - Consultation: Proposal for automatic adoption of new versions of the PIC/S guide to good manufacturing practice for medicinal products. The TGA is seeking comments on the proposed automatic adoption of new versions of the PIC/S guide to good manufacturing practice for medicinal products (PIC/S GMP). Closing date: 10 July 2013.

29 May 2013 - Therapeutic goods orders. Therapeutic goods order no. 88 - Standards for donor selection, testing, and minimising infectious disease transmission via therapeutic goods that are human blood and blood components, human tissues and human cellular therapy products registered on the federal register of legislative instruments.

29 May 2013 - Manufacturing principles & guidelines. Therapeutic goods (manufacturing principles) determination no. 1 of 2013 registered on the federal register of legislative instruments.

28 May 2013 - Advisory committee on the safety of medicines (ACSOM) meeting statement, Meeting 17, 10 May 2013. Added the ACSOM meeting statement, meeting 17, 10 May 2013.

28 May 2013 - Bayer Australia Limited - Berocca performance (Complaint no. 2010-10-017). Decision under regulation 9 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 in relation to an advertisement about the product "Berocca performance."

27 May 2013 - Codman Certas programmable valves. Health professionals and consumers are advised that Johnson & Johnson Medical has initiated a recall of all unused stock and issued a hazard alert to implanting surgeons for two Codman Certas programmable valve products.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

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

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

29 May 2013 - Change of registration status - Heath care insurance limited - Registered Funds--13/11.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency & the boards

28 May 2013 - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) health practice board of Australia releases its latest communiqué. | Read article

24 May 2013 - The Chinese medicine board of Australia releases its latest newsletter. | Read article

31 May 2013 - The medical board of Australia and Australian medical council have released a joint newsletter on the national internship framework. | Read article

24 May 2013 - The medical board releases its latest communiqué. | Read article

29 May 2013 - The Victorian optometrists training and education (VOTE) trust 2013-2014 applications are open from 1 June 2013 to 31 July 2013. | Read article

30 May 2013 - The steering committee for the binational project to develop shared entry-level qualifying statements for the physiotherapy profession has been released. | Read article

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

27 May 2013 - On the radar – Issue 128.

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

30 May 2013. Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures 2012 - The dental health of Australia's children by remoteness: Child dental health survey Australia 2009. | Read article

29 May 2013 - A snapshot of rheumatoid arthritis. | Read article

28 May 2013 - National social housing survey 2012: a summary of national results. | Read article

28 May 2013 - Impact of improvements to Indigenous identification in hospital data on patterns of hospitalised injury.

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council

31 May 2013 - New clinical practice guidelines for managing overweight and obesity.

New South Wales. Ministry of Health

Media releases

31 May 2013 - Crack down on prank callers.

30 May 2013 - New era of mental health care in south-western Sydney.

29 May 2013 - Rural & regional hospital rebuild update.

29 May 2013 - Tamworth hospital redevelopment main works milestone.

28 May 2013 - NSW Government boosts childhood vaccination laws.

Cultures that care - Edition two.

Policy directive

27 May 2013 - Safety alert broadcast system policy directive - PD2013_009.

Information bulletins

30 May 2013 - Ownership and status of health records of people in immigration detention IB2013_020.

29 May 2013 - Notification of obsolete policy directive PD2006_044 - IB2013_019.

Northern Territory. Department of Health

Calling for expressions of interest - Alcohol mandatory treatment Tribunal - Health & community members.

Queensland. Department of Health

Media release

Special funding to clear cochlear implant waiting lists.

South Australia. Department for Health &Ageing

Media releases

31 May 2013 - The number of South Aussie smokers running out of puff-Hon Jack Snelling MP. The number of smokers in South Australia is continuing to decline, according to recently released data. | Read article

31 May 2013 - Recognising the supreme sacrifice of SA's Aboriginal servicemen and women-Hon Jack Snelling MP. Hon Ian Hunter MLC-A new memorial at the Torrens Parade Ground will honour the many Aboriginal South Australians who have made the supreme sacrifice for their nation. | Read article

29 May 2013 - BreastScreen SA review report released-Hon Jack Snelling MP. The findings of an independent review into BreastScreen SA's lower than expected cancer detection rates from digital screening technology have been released today. | Read article

28 May 2013 - Construction starts on Mt Barker maternity re-development-Hon Jack Snelling MP. Construction has started on the $3.8 million redevelopment of the obstetrics wing at Mount Barker District Soldier's Memorial Hospital. | Read article

26 May 2013 - More paramedics for more frontline support-Hon Jack Snelling MP. The State Government will invest an extra $4 million a year to boost the ranks of the South Australian Ambulance Service with an additional 34 paramedics. | Read article

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

29 May 2013 - Innovation, leadership and excellence in care recognised at DHHS.

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

30 May 2013 - Numurkah hospital, come on down! The Numurkah community can see tangible evidence of the first steps towards their new hospital with demolition contractors having started work in recent days, Health Minister David Davis said today.

28 May 2013 - Healthier smiles for Victorians. Health Minister David Davis has launched a new $14.9 million plan to prevent dental problems such as decay and gum disease as part of healthy together Victoria.

27 May 2013 - Public hospital doctors agree on pay deal. Victoria's public hospital doctors have reached an agreement on a pay deal, consistent with the Coalition Government's wages policy. Health Minister David Davis said the in-principle agreement with medical staff had been reached through genuine negotiation without the need for industrial action.

24 May 2013 - Plibersek must explain long waits for general practitioner (GP) access and deteriorating performance. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reform council report healthcare 2011-12: Comparing performance across Australia confirms that more people in all States are having to wait longer than 24 hours to see a family doctor, Minister for Health David Davis said.

Melbourne hosts international council of nurses congress.

In-depth case review report template.

List of non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) services in Victoria.

Applicant information : expressions of interest : Ministerial advisory committee for senior Victorians.

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

31 May 2013 - Healthy tips to combat winter blues.

30 May 2013 - GREaT new program to get a taste of nursing.

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

27 May 2013 - New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013–2016.

United Kingdom. Department of Health

29 May 2013 - Four million pounds of funding to improve diagnosis of diseases.

28 May 2013 - New era of education and training for national health scheme (NHS) staff.

25 May 2013 - Expansion of ground breaking scheme to support NHS staff.

Canada. Health Canada

29 May 2013 - Harper Government launches clinical trials database - New initiatives provide guidance and education on clinical trials for Canadians.

Australian Medical Association (AMA)

Urgent advice to members - Australasian health professionals directory. Members may have recently received a notice advertising the Australasian Health Professionals Directory (AUAHP) and asking you to update your details. The unsigned cover letter advises you to update your details for inclusion in a "listing" in the directory. The first line says "The basic data is published free of charge." This is not the case. The fine print provides that the listing will be for a minimum of three years, at $1300 per year, and will continue on for the following year after that if not cancelled within three months of the current contract period.

AMA salutes pathologists on pathology day.

New AMA executive.

AMA/ACOSH/ASH national tobacco scoreboard award 2013.

Victoria and Queensland - joint dunces on tobacco control.

AMA president's award.

AMA national conference condemns Government decision to cap tax deductions for work-related medical self-education.

AMA president's statement.

Success of State and Territory AMAs recognised.

AMA welcomes mason review recommendations.

New additions to AMA roll of fellows.

AMA backs moves to strengthen school immunisation requirements.

AMA calls for coal seam gas health checks.

AMA appoints new Secretary General.

British Medical Association (BMA)

28 May 2013 - Female genital mutilation (FMG) spells pain. As a medical soap opera highlights the devastating outcomes of female genital mutilation, the BMA finds out how doctors have an umportant role in protecting young females from the illegal practice.

24 May 2013 - Concern new death certificates could cause more grief. GPs warned that bereaved relatives could suffer unnecessary distress unless more time was given to implementing the new death certification process.

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