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Health Bulletin (7 August 2018)

The latest insights from our Health Law team.


In this edition:

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ACCC commences proceedings against Cryosite Ltd for alleged cartel conduct

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against Cryosite Ltd (Cryosite), a biotech company which specialises in biorepository and cord blood and tissue banking in particular.

In June 2017, Cryosite agreed to transfer its cord blood and tissue banking business to Cell Care Australia Pty Ltd (Cell Care)– the only other private supplier of cord blood and tissue banking in Australia.  The agreement between the parties required all customer enquiries to be directed to Cell Care prior to the acquisition being completed.

The ACCC alleged that this amounted to cartel conduct through the allocation of customers from Cryosite to Cell Care and “gun-jumping”, whereby competitors who are parties to a merger or acquisition in some way combine before the completion of the transaction.

Rod Sims, the ACCC Chair, said that this is the first time the ACCC has commenced proceedings in relation to gun jumping.  They are seeking declarations, financial penalties, mandatory compliance training and legal costs from Cryosite.

You can read the ACCC’s full media release here.


Experts call for ban on “Real Bodies – The Exhibition”

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has condemned the Real Bodies exhibition on the basis that the specimens were unethically and illegally obtained which breaches the NSW Health Regulations. RACP has called for the exhibition to be shut down.

The exhibition displays over 200 human organs and 20 preserved cadavers. However, the RACP alleges that the exhibition organisers do not have consent documents or any identification papers clarifying that the Chinese donors willingly donated their bodies.

The exhibition has been banned in numerous countries due to these ethical concerns. The exhibition is currently showing in Sydney. 

Click here to read RACP’s statement.


Registered nurse suspended after inappropriately touching students

On 6 July 2018, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) suspended Mr Alfredo Crocetti, a registered nurse, after finding that he acted inappropriately while teaching student nurses at Victoria University (VU).

In late 2014, the Australian Health Practitioner Agency (AHPRA) received a notification from VU alleging that Mr Crocetti had inappropriately touched a female student on the breast and groin area and made sexually suggestive statements to the student while demonstrating how to conduct “head to toe” assessments of patients.  Immediate action was taken against Mr Crocetti and the matter was then referred to VCAT for determination.

VCAT found that Mr Crocetti’s conduct amounted to professional misconduct within the meaning of the National Law.  In particular, VCAT noted that his conduct was “an abuse of his position of trust and authority” and represented a “disregard for his important role as a student nurse educator”. 

Mr Crocetti was suspended from practice for two months and cannot have face-to-face contact with patients for four months.  Further, he is unable to practice in any formal education setting for a period of 12 months.

Read the full VCAT decision here.

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