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Health Bulletin (26 November 2018)

The latest insights from our Health Law team.

In this edition:

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No Jab, No Play laws strengthened to protect Victorian children

From 1 November 2018, Victorian parents or carers of children who attend early childhood services are required to provide them with periodic Immunisation History Statements to prove that their child’s immunisations are up to date.  The Immunisation History Statements must evidence appropriate immunisation of the child and be submitted within 2 months after the child reaches a prescribed age or at intervals not exceeding seven months.

This new measure works in addition to the existing ‘No Jab, No Play’ requirements under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) (Act).  It aims to contribute towards improving childhood immunisation rates in Victoria, which have recently reached the target of 95%.  It also intends to protect the community from diseases that can be prevented through immunisation.

Read the Act here.

NSW unregistered dental practitioner receives timely conviction

Earlier this year on 14 May 2018, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) charged a New South Wales man, Mr Majid Rahebi, with 44 counts of “falsely representing that he was a registered dentist” and 31 counts of “performing a restricted dental act”.

Mr Rahebi had operated the dental practice MJ Dental Care Pty Ltd in Guilford West New South Wales, despite having never been registered as an Australian dentist and having never held any other formal dental qualifications.  He was also found to have carried out dental treatment on patients and administering unauthorised prescription medicines.

The Local Court of New South Wales has now convicted and fined Mr Rahebi for these unauthorised and restricted practices, with the fines amounting to $11,250 for falsely representing that he was a registered dentist and $18,750 for his performance of restricted dental acts.  He was also ordered to pay costs of approximately $19,950.

The Dental Board of Australia have commented that this outcome, together with other recent similar outcomes, have shown that “regulators take seriously anyone falsely claiming to be dentists”.

To read more click here.

New laws requiring all Victorian hospitals to report cases of potentially fatal anaphylaxis

From 1 November 2018, Victorian public and private hospitals will be required to notify the Department of Health and Human Services of anaphylaxis presentations (Department) under an amendment to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) (Act).

The amendment to the Act requires an anaphylaxis reporting body to notify the department 'if a registered medical practitioner employed at, or otherwise engaged by, the anaphylaxis reporting body has reasonable grounds to believe that a person presenting for treatment at the anaphylaxis reporting body has anaphylaxis'.

The amendment also requires the ‘person in charge’ of the hospital to ensure that processes are implemented to ensure that the hospital complies with the notification requirements.

Anaphylaxis presentations must be notified in accordance with the prescribed requirements of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 (Vic) (Regulations).

Under the Regulations, hospitals will be required to notify the Department of anaphylaxis presentations within five days of initial diagnosis, electronically through the Department’s online form, unlessthe suspected cause of anaphylaxis is the consumption of a packaged food.  In this case, notification is required immediately by telephone.

Read the new amendment to the Act here (section 18).

New assisted reproductive technology laws in NSW

Last week the NSW Parliament passed legislation which will strengthen the rights of individuals born through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) after 2010 to access details about their biological heritage. The changes are aimed at improving the information contained on the central register about donors and donor-conceived children by requiring ART providers to confirm whether treatment resulted in a birth. 

The legislation is intended to close an existing loophole where information about whether ART resulted in a birth is not recorded because parents fail to notify the ART provider by shifting the responsibility to the ART provider.

ART providers using donated gametes or embryos will be required to take responsible steps to find out whether the treatment was successful and resulted in a child being born. 

In addition to changes to ART law, the Health Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) 2018 (NSW) amends five other Acts in NSW covering a range of health issues.

Read the Minister for Health’s media release here.

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