Australia: Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 1

This article is part of a series: Click Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 1 for the previous article.


Australia. Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

14 June 2013 - Real Health Care Reform Pty Ltd and Department of Health and Ageing [2013] AICmr 60

Freedom of Information - charges - whether agency should exercise discretion to reduce or not impose charge — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 29(5)(a), 29(5)(b).

New South Wales

Cox v Fellows [2013] NSWCA 206

Cox, a general surgeon with a sub-specialty in gastrointestinal surgery, removed Fellow's gall bladder using diathermy. During diathermy, small clips are placed on a tube leading to the gall bladder, which remain in place after the procedure. Some months after the procedure, Fellows experienced a stricture near where the clips were placed, and sued for negligence. At first instance, the judge found the application of the diathermy "at or near the clip" on the cystic duct caused the structure. The application of the diathermy "at or near the clip" was a breach of duty because there was a departure from the required standard of care. Cox appealed.

The Court of Appeal had to decide:

  1. What was the cause of the stricture?
  2. Was the diathermy applied too close to the clips?
  3. If the diathermy being applied too close to the clips was the cause of the stricture, was this the result of Cox's negligence?

The Court rejected the appeal. The Court found Cox used diathermy too close to the clips, which was the direct cause of the stricture. The injury was avoidable and not an inherent risk. The doctor's departure from the discipline of following his usual technique did not involve a clinical judgment of how close to the clips he should exercise diathermy; rather it was a departure from the usual standard of care expected of the ordinary skilled person exercising and professing to have that special skill of a surgeon in Cox's position in the conduct of the procedure.

Victoria. Coroners Court

Inquest into the death of Long Ngoc Dinh COR 2010-1458

Inquest into the death of Bradley Piper COR 2007-0350

The deceased was born on 22 January 2007 at 34 weeks gestation via spontaneous vaginal delivery. No heart beat or respirations were recorded, and Apgars were 0 at one minute and 3 at five minutes. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was commenced and intubation was required. The baby was transferred from the district hospital to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at a tertiary hospital. It was decided, due to the poor neuronal state and severe brain damage shown on an electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), that intensive treatment would be withdrawn. The baby died on 27 January 2007.

The mother had an uneventful prenatal history, and there was no foetal distress during the spontaneous precipitant labour. Coroner Ollie relied on expert evidence given during the inquest throughout his findings. Issues identified included:

  • The level of reliance on a fibronectin test;
  • Monitoring of mother and baby, including CTG tracing and the decision to transfer the baby to a NICU;
  • The utilisation of Newborn Emergency Transfer Service/Perinatal Emergency Referral Service, as both transportation and advice services; and
  • Resuscitation of the baby.

It was concluded that much or all of the insult the baby sustained had occurred before the last hour or so of labour, in that he had established neurological abnormality at birth. It was concluded that it was unlikely that any action in the last hour or two of labour would have made any difference, and even if the mother had been transferred to a tertiary centre for the birth, the result would not have altered.

Western Australia (WA) State Administrative Tribunal

Medical Board of Australia and Woolard [2013] WASAT 101

Health Practitioner Regulation - medical practitioner - disciplinary action - orders prepared by consent following mediation.

USA. Wisconsin

10 July 2013 - Dane County v Sheila W

This is a review of an unpublished opinion of the court of appeals dismissing this appeal because the issues presented are moot. The petitioner, Sheila W., is a minor who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. She opposed on religious grounds any life-saving blood transfusions and her parents supported her position.



Health and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013.

Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Base Premium) Act 2013.

Private Health Insurance Amendment (Lifetime Health Cover Loading and Other Measures) Act 2013.

Charities Act 2013.

Aged Care (Bond Security) Levy Amendment Act 2013.

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013.

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Transitional Provisions) Act 2013.

Aged Care (Bond Security) Amendment Act 2013.

Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Act 2013.

User Rights Amendment (Various Measures) Principle 2013.

Aged Care Revocation Instrument 2013.

Complaints Amendment (Living Longer Living Better) Principle 2013.

Aged Care (Flexible Care Subsidy Amount - Multi-Purpose Services) Determination 2013 (No. 2).

Quality of Care Amendment (Home Care) Principle 2013.

Aged Care (Residential Care Subsidy — Dementia and Severe Behaviours and Veterans' Supplement Amounts) Determination 2013.

Classification Amendment (Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement) Principle 2013.

Aged Care (Home Care Subsidy Amount) Determination 2013.

Approval of Care Recipients Amendment (Home Care) Principle 2013.

Home Care Subsidy Principles 2013.

Residential Care Subsidy Amendment (New Supplements and Other Measures) Principle 2013.

Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Amendment Rules 2013 (No. 3).


Australia. Department of Health & Ageing

Media releases

11 July 2013 - $500,000 upgrade of newstead medical officially opened. Residents in the Launceston area will benefit from a $500,000 federally funded upgrade to Newstead Medical.

11 July 2013 - Boosting the Health of Northern Tasmanians-The trial of an innovative exercise program, called Strength2strength will help Northern Tasmanians live healthier, more active lives.

11 July 2013 - Launceston General Hospital (LGH) acute medical unit officially opened. Official opening of the acute medical unit at Launceston General Hospital.

10 July 2013 - $13.5 million for primary health care research. The Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, Tanya Plibersek, has announced an extra $13.5 million for new primary care research, including Australia's first international primary health care research organisation.

10 July 2013 - New mental health help for Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Australians. A new mental health telephone counselling service will be established across the country for people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

10 July 2013 - Training more specialist Doctors for Tasmania. Up to 51 additional training places for specialist doctors will be created in Tasmania's public hospitals to help meet demand in key areas, including general obstetrics and surgery.

09 July 2013 - Ballarat headspace to help young people through tough times. Young Ballarat residents with mental health issues will get better care and support with the launch of a new headspace service to help the region's 12 to 25 year olds.

9 July 2013 - Launch of new mobile mental health dervice for Melbourne. A partnership between Victoria Police, The Alfred Hospital and the Australian Government will create a mobile mental health service to help people with mental health crises in Melbourne's Bayside area.

8 July 2013 - Geelong cats promote the deadly choices message. The Geelong Football Club will run programs in Victoria to share anti-smoking, smoke-free and healthy lifestyle choice messages with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

5 July 2013 - Australia's first home care packages. The first Home Care packages for older Australians have been announced by Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Senator Jacinta Collins, as part of more than $500 million in new annual aged care funding.

4 July 2013 - Organ donation and transplantation benefiting more Northern Territorians. Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Shayne Neumann, has acknowledged the Northern Territory for its contribution to increasing organ donation outcomes as part of the Federal Government's national reform agenda.

3 July 2013 - Extra support for people living with Machado Joseph Disease (MJD) in the Territory. The Australian Government will provide more than $91,000 to further support people and their families living with MJD in the Northern Territory.

3 July 2013 - Paramedic science simulation centre to boost training opportunities. The number of paramedic students passing through a new paramedic science simulation centre at the University of Queensland's Ipswich campus is expected to increase significantly by 2014.

3 July 2013 - Stronger science base for food standards agency. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) will gain a stronger science base and continuity through the appointment of its new board.

1 July 2013 - Appointment to medical research portfolio. Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek comments on being sworn in Australia's first ever Federal Minister for Medical Research.

30 July 2013 - New generation medicines added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). A new medicine that can significantly extend the life of people with deadly melanoma (skin cancer) has been approved for inclusion in the PBS.

28 July 2013 - First early psychosis service opens in Melbourne. The first of nine new early psychosis services has been opened in South East Melbourne by Federal Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler.

28 July 2013 - Janette Hall Scholarship winners announced. Four health specialists in the organ and tissue donation sector will receive scholarships to further their professional development announced Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann.

28 July 2013 - Severe mental illness support to flow through partnership services. Australians with severe and persistent mental illness will benefit from $472.7 million provided to organisations in 48 Medicare Local regions for coordinated and flexibly funded support.

28 July 2013 - Young people to benefit from new headspace sites. Fifteen new headspace youth mental health services will open across the country to support young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues.

Private Health Insurance Circulars

PHI 41/13 New Private (same day) Hospital Information.

PHI 40/13 New Private (Same Day) Hospital Information.

PHI 39/13 Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Amendment Rules 2013 (No. 3) Changes to the Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Rules 2011.

PHI 38/13 Private (same day) Hospital Information - Name and Address Change - VIC.

PHI 37/13 Private Health Insurance Amendment (Lifetime Health Cover Loading and other Measures) Bill 2012 and Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Base Premium) Bill 2013.

PHI 36/12 Changes to Second-Tier Eligible Hospitals.

PHI 35/13 Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Amendment Rules 2013 (No.2) and Private Health Insurance (Complying Product) Amendment Rules 2013 (No.2).

Aged care

1 July 2013 - Important information about key 1 July 2013 changes under the Living Longer Living Better Aged Care Reform Package

28 June 2013 - Schedule of resident fees and charges: from 1 July 2013

28 June 2013 - Accommodation Bond Balance Refund Interest Rates

26 June 2013 - Living Longer Living Better Aged Care Reform Legislation Package

21 June 2013 - Australian Government Response to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Report

Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling in Aged Care Services. This booklet provides an evidence-based approach to complaint handling in a plain English, easy-to-understand format. It highlights the role of communication in effective complaint handling and the benefits of resolving complaints within a service.

You might also be interested in...

Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 2
Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 3
Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 4
Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 5

© 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.

This article is part of a series: Click Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 1 for the previous article.
This article is part of a series: Click Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 1 for the next article.
This article is part of a series: Click Health Alert (Australia) - 15 July 2013 - Part 2 for the next 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”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

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.

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 by clicking here .

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.


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.