Australia: Health Alert (Australia) - 24 June 2013


New South Wales

14 June 2013 - King v Western Sydney Local Health Network [2013] NSWCA 162

The appellant developed foetal varicella syndrome (FVS) after her mother contracted varicella in the second trimester of her pregnancy. The syndrome caused severe physical and intellectual disability. The mother had not suffered from chickenpox before so should have been offered a dose of varicella-zoster immunoglobulin (VZIG), in accordance with the standard medical practice in 2002, to boost her defences to the virus.

It was accepted that the respondent owed a duty of care to the appellant to advise her mother of the availability of VZIG for treatment following her exposure to chickenpox and that the respondent breached that duty in failing to prescribe VZIG. The issue on appeal was the trial judge's determination that, on the balance of probabilities, causation had not been established.

The Court stated that to establish causation, it was necessary for the appellant to establish that:

  • Her mother had contracted chickenpox within 96 hours of visiting the hospital;
  • Her mother would have chosen to have VZIG administered had it been offered to her; and
  • That administration of the drug to her mother would have prevented the appellant from contracting FVS as a result of her mother's chickenpox.

The Court found that not giving the mother VZIG at most prevented the very small statistical risk of the appellant contracting FVS from minutely decreasing; "[i]t did not cause the appellant's injury." The Court held that the failure to administer VZIG did not materially contribute to the appellant's risk of suffering FVS, and the appeal was dismissed.

Harris v Bellemore (No 5) [2013] NSWSC 770

Torts - medical negligence - lengthy hearing at first instance - proceedings remitted by Court of Appeal for new trial limited to four questions expressly articulated by the Court - scope of questions - whether parties should have leave to adduce evidence as to the questions remitted.

United Kingdom

21 May 2013 - Re SB [2013] EWHC 1417 (COP)

AB, a patient suffering from bipolar disorder, became pregnant in December 2012 and in the early stages was positive about wanting the baby. However in April 2013 her attitude reversed and she voluntarily attended a clinic and an appointment for an abortion was arranged, which she did not keep. At the beginning of May she was compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act. The hospital where she was detained facilitated an assessment in relation to the proposed abortion, but believed she lacked capacity to make her own decision to have a termination.

Neither the patient's treating psychiatrist nor an independent psychiatrist considered the patient had the capacity to make the decision. They noted the "strong temporal relationship" between when the patient ceased taking her medication and relapsed, and wanting to terminate the pregnancy.

While accepting the patient's mental illness and that she suffers "an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain", Holman J stated that wasn't the relevant test or requirement under the Mental Capacity Act. The relevant question was whether the patient is "unable" to make a decision. The patient had made a decision to terminate her pregnancy weeks prior to judgment, and provided several reasons for this. Holman J found that "it would be a total affront to the autonomy of this patient to conclude that she lacks capacity to the level required to make this decision". It was held that the patient had capacity to make decisions about her desired termination.



National health (listing of pharmaceutical benefits) amendment instrument 2013 (No. 8) (No. PB 39 of 2013).

National health (remote Aboriginal health services program) special arrangements amendment instrument 2013 (No. 1) (No. PB 34 of 2013).

Therapeutic goods information (adverse event notifications – medical devices) specification 2013.

National health (immunisation program - designated vaccines) variation determination 2013 (No. 1).


Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

18 June 2013 - New website details frontline health services delivered by Medicare locals. Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has launched a new government website which gives Australians information about important health services being provided by Medicare locals in their local communities.

17 June 2013 - New high level group advise on tackling indigenous suicide. A new expert group has been set up to advise the Federal Government on improving mental health and suicide prevention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

14 June 2013 - Legislative and governance forum on food regulation - final communiqué.

14 June 2013 - Consultation on improving the collection of financial data from aged care providers.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the boards

19 June 2013 - Due to a lack of evidence, the Medical Board of Australia will take no further action against senior Western Australian (WA) health officials named in a notification lodged in early 2013. | Read article

14 June 2013 - The chiropractic Board of Australia releases its latest newsletter. | Read article

20 June 2013 - The national specialist international medical graduate (IMG) committee releases its latest communiqué. | Read article

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

17 June 2013 – On the radar - Issue 131 (94KB).

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

17 June 2013 - Towards better Indigenous health data.

19 June 2013 - National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics annual data collection 2012 - media release.

19 June 2013 - Healthy for life - Aboriginal community controlled health services: report card.

17 June 2013 - Report on the use of linked data relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Thematic list of projects using linked data relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Australia. National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Human frontier science program on track for 2014-2016.

Interview with the Lancet regarding the declaration of Helsinki.

14 June 2013 - NHMRC research tracker.

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

21 June 2013 - Consultation principles for therapeutic goods regulatory reforms. By following the consultation principles we will ensure that consultation activities are conducted in a consistent and coordinated manner.

20 June 2013 - GNY slimming pills - labelled as MSV, ESV and GRL. The TGA advises that GNY Australia has initiated a recall of GNY slimming pills - labelled as MSV (Strong Version), ESV (Extra Strong Version) and GRL (Rapid Loss soft gel capsules) as they pose a serious health risk.

19 June 2013 - TGA website - new mobile friendly version. If you are using a smart phone or device to access the TGA website you can now see a mobile friendly version.

19 June 2013 - Database of adverse event notifications (DAEN). The TGA has launched the DAEN – medical devices which provides information about adverse events associated with medical devices used in Australia.

18 June 2013 - TGA presentation given at the complementary healthcare council (CHC) advertising seminar on 11 June 2013.

18 June 2013 - Consultation: Over the counter (OTC) N2 application requirements and OTC medicine monographs for aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen. The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on draft documentation intended for publication as part of the implementation of a 12 month trial in Australia of the OTC new product N2 application (or monograph application) route. Closing date: 16 July 2013.

17 June 2013 - Submissions received: Permitted (coded) indications for listed medicines. Submissions received in response to the consultation paper.

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

21 June 2013 - Review of the solvency and capital adequacy standards – Quantitative impact study 2 (QIS2).

Australia. National Mental Health Commission

17 June 2013 - Commission welcomes new high level group on Indigenous suicide.

Australian National Audit Office

20 June 2013 - Administration of the general practitioner (GP) super clinics program.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

20 June 2013 - ACCC proposes not to authorise fee arrangements by ophthalmologists.

Australian Capital Territory. Health Directorate

14 June 2013 - 2013 Health promotion awards. Winners announced.

New South Wales. (NSW) Ministry of Health

Media releases

19 June 2013 - NSW Health urges parents to be aware but not alarmed about enterovirus.

20 June 2013 - NSW Government enacts childhood vaccination reform.

18 June 2013 - More lies from Labor about NSW health budget.

18 June 2013 - $1.45 billion commitment to help more people with mental illness.

18 June 2013 - Billion dollar building boost for NSW hospitals.

18 June 2013 - Driving innovation through medical research.

18 June 2013 - NSW Government boosts health by $884 million.

17 June 2013 - Main works tenders called for south east regional hospital.

14 June 2013 - Commonwealth must do more on interns.

14 June 2013 - NSW leads national bid to see chronic pain recognised as a disease.

Epidemiology of out of hospital cardiac arrests, NSW, 2012: Time, place and person.

No smoking at public transport stops and station (A3 poster).

No smoking in spectator areas of sports ground (A3 poster).

My personal health record.

Health risk assessment of dioxin emissions from MM Kembla, Port Kembla, Illawarra NSW.

Policy directive

17 June 2013 - Chaplains subsidy.

Information bulletin

17 June 2013 - National Aboriginal and islander day observance committee (NAIDOC) week 2013 - IB2013_023.

Northern Territory. Department of Health

Robyn Lambley - Patient assistance travel scheme to become clearer and simpler.

Robyn Lambley - Alice Springs mandatory alcohol assessment site secured.

Robyn Lambley - Health Minister Robyn Lambley has announced a series of responsible changes to vehicle parking at royal Darwin hospital.

Queensland. Department of Health

Media releases

20 June 2013 - Legionella testing in Queensland hospitals - Minister for Health | The Honourable Lawrence Springborg. Queensland Health will start reporting legionella water testing results from hospitals across the State by the end of next week.

19 June 2013 - Palaszczuk challenged to support better healthcare in Queensland - Minister for Health | The Honourable Lawrence Springborg. Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has accused Labor and its State Opposition Leader of living a lie over past policies of privatisation and the reckless mismanagement of Queensland Health.

In front outback research grant recipients announced.

Louis Ariotti memorial award recipient announced.

South Australia. Department for Health & Ageing

Media release: Aboriginal health scholarships.

18 June 2013 - Independent expert to carry out patient assistance transport scheme (PATS) review. A leading healthcare expert will review the PATS. | Read article

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

19 June 2013 - Patients are the winners in sunshine hospital works. Patients in the western region will benefit from the ongoing redevelopment of the sunshine hospital, Health Minister David Davis said today.

18 June 2013 - Coalition delivers $9.3 million for cancer research. Victorian cancer researchers will receive $9.3 million to support ground breaking research programs and to support talented and emerging cancer researchers as part of a $14.9 million Victorian Coalition Government boost to cancer research in Victoria.

17 June 2013 - Grants support multicultural seniors to remain socially engaged. Seniors from multicultural groups will share in $233,000 in Victorian Coalition Government funding across the state to help them remain active and participating community members and enjoy the spoils of a life well earned, Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis announced today.

May 2013 - Activity based funding newsletter.

Vaccine side effects.

New home and community care education and training : Bulletin 6.

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

20 June 2013 - Minister for Health and Minister for Mental Health: Closing the gap funding continues.

20 June 2013 - OD 0439/13. The WA health employee grievance resolution policy has been amended to make provision for the resolution of bullying, harassment and discrimination grievances.

20 June 2013 - OD 0438/13. The WA health equal opportunity and diversity policy has been amended to align with the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) and make provision for the resolution of harassment and discrimination grievances.

20 June 2013 - OD 0437/13. The WA health preventing and responding to workplace bullying policy has been amended to align with the WorkSafe WA Code of Practice – Violence, aggression and bullying at work 2010 and make provision for the resolution of workplace bullying grievances.

20 June 2013 - IC 0147/13. Five percent wage increase - advice of new salary rates for registered nurses, midwives, enrolled (mental health) and enrolled (mothercraft) nurses.

19 June 2013 - OD 0436/13. Recording non-admitted outpatient activity for rehabilitation in the home (RITH). The purpose of this operational directive is to advise health services of the requirement that from 1 July 2013, all RITH activity must be managed and recorded using an approved metropolitan patient administration system (PAS): TOPAS or webPAS.

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

20 June 2013 - Annual report on drinking water quality 2011–2012.

United Kingdom. Department of Health

Final design of consistent nutritional labelling system given green light.

Oral statement on Morecambe Bay.

Technical guidance on nutrition labelling.

Front of pack nutrition labelling guidance.

Supporting registered managers to build compassion in care homes.

National health scheme (NHS) procurement standards.

Canada. Health Canada

14 June 2013 - Harper Government launches plain language labelling initiative to improve drug safety for Canadians. Proposed changes will make it easier for Canadians to read drug labels.

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

HHS releases new public health service guideline to reduce disease transmission through organ transplantation. Today, the U.S. Department of HHS released a new guideline to improve patient safety by reducing unexpected disease transmission through organ transplantation. This guideline updates the 1994 U.S. public health service (PHS) guideline for preventing transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through organ transplantation and adds guidance for reducing unexpected transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) through organ transplants.

British Medical Association (BMA)

18 June 2013 - BMA urges doctors not to force feed hunger strikers. Doctors at Guantanamo Bay should not be involved in force feeding hunger strikers, the BMA has insisted.

17 June 2013 - Patients face emergency care "duplication and delay." The BMA will help an expert team seek solutions to improve NHS services and ease pressures on urgent and emergency care.

14 June 2013 - Consultants face online rating. Consultants at a Manchester hospital will be the first to have individual performance data and patient feedback made public in an effort to improve transparency.

Canadian Medical Association

18 June 2013 - Calgary to host major November meeting on the health of physicians.

14 June 2013 - Clinical guidance on avian influenza A(H7N9) virus now available.

American Medical Association (AMA)

14 June 2013 - AMA Awards $11m to transform the way future physicians are trained. Eleven medical school awardees become part of AMA learning consortium to rapidly disseminate best practices.

© 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

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions