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Health Bulletin 7 July 2020

In this edition: Research into predicting cancer trends, Communicable Diseases Network Australia’s guidelines update, $388M AUD to fast-track elective surgery in NSW, New Victorian Scheme for disability workers, and 2 new promotions within Russell Kennedy's Health team.

The latest insights from our Health Law team:

Research into predicting cancer trends to help prepare our health system

Update to Communicable Diseases Network Australia’s guidelines for public health units

$388 million to fast-track elective surgeries in NSW

New Victorian Scheme for disability workers

Two new promotions within Russell Kennedy's Health team

Learn more about Russell Kennedy's expertise in the Health sector here.

If you'd like to stay up to date with Russell Kennedy's insights, please sign up here.

 

Research into predicting cancer trends to help prepare our health system

On 13 June 2020, the NSW Government announced its Medical Research Future Fund would be granting $3.5m to research five-year trends in cancer.

Understanding trends in cancer and creating an epidemiological model will be used by:

  1. The NSW Government to project future demand in cancer medicines and treatment and the delivery of associated health services; and
  2. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and Medical Services Advisory Committee to evaluate cancer medicines and treatments proposed to be subsidised by the Government.

The NSW Government’s media release states that cancer medicines and treatments listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medical Benefits Schedule have “become complicated because of the uncertainty in the number of patients who may actually benefit from a treatment, and the implication for delivery of the treatment on the health system."

The research is intended to reduce the uncertainty and prepare the health system for the trends.

Funding has also been awarded to five universities, with each university focusing on a separate aspect of predicting the effect of current and new cancer medicines and treatments.

To read the press release, click here.

 

Update to Communicable Diseases Network Australia’s guidelines for public health units

Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) has updated its guidelines on responding to notifiable disease events for public health units due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

CDNA has updated the guidelines which have been endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee. The guidelines aim to ensure that there is consistent advice and guidance for public health units across the country regarding COVID-19 and other diseases.

The guidelines provide recommendations for surveillance, infection control, laboratory testing and contact management. They are updated regularly in accordance with most recent information and best practice guidance.

You can find the guidelines here

 

$388 million to fast-track elective surgeries in NSW

The NSW Government has allocated an extra $388 million to fast track elective surgeries that have been delayed by COVID-19 to ensure that those surgeries can be booked in as soon as possible.

The Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, Mr Brad Hazzard, will host a roundtable with public and private sectors and clinicians within the next month to determine the best way to quickly and appropriately deliver elective surgeries and other procedures.

The additional $388 million in Government funding will allow public patients to be treated in private hospitals, in addition to assisting public hospitals to increase surgery capacity. The COVID-19 driven pause on some non-urgent and elective surgeries during the pandemic has affected the usual delivery of around 100,000 emergency surgeries as well as 235,000 elective surgeries conducted in NSW public hospitals each year. The boost in funding will assist the public and private sector to be at 75 per cent by the end of June.

All NSW Health Local Health Districts will be closely monitoring surgery lists to ensure a balance between the return of elective surgery with the need to maintain hospital capacity and preparedness for COVID-19.

To read the announcement, click here

 

New Victorian Scheme for disability workers

The Disability Worker Regulation Scheme was established by the Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 (Vic) (Act), to regulate all disability workers in Victoria, irrespective of the service funding source, from 1 July 2020.

The main purpose of the Scheme is to ensure the quality, safety, responsiveness and sustainability of the disability workforce. The Scheme does this in four key ways:

  1. Establishing a new mandatory obligation on all disability workers and employers to notify the Victorian Disability Worker Commission (Commission) or the Disability Worker Registration Board (Board) of any allegations that a disability worker has engaged in notifiable conduct.
  2. Enabling suitably trained and competent disability workers to obtain registration status with the Board.
  3. Providing processes to make complaints about disability workers to the Commission or the Board.
  4. Facilitating the creation of the Disability Service Safeguards Code of Conduct with which all disability workers must comply.

The Scheme will apply to all disability workers in Victoria from 1 July 2020.

Critically, this means that notification obligations have now commenced. It also means that the Code of Conduct is now in effect, and the Board and the Commission can receive complaints and notifications about the conduct of disability workers. 

Read the full Alert here.

 

Two new promotions within Russell Kennedy's Health team

Russell Kennedy is please to announce 18 new promotions, four of which are at the principal level.

Russell Kennedy would like to congratulate two members of our health team on their promotions; Kylie Walsh on her promotion to Principal, and Felicity Iredale on her promotion to Senior Associate.

Managing Director Paul Gleeson said “In this challenging market it is particularly satisfying to see our talented people continue to develop and progress their careers, contributing the further growth and success of the Firm.”

Read more about the Russell Kennedy promotions here

Kylie Walsh Kylie Walsh

 Principal

 P: 03 9609 1551
 E: kwalsh@rk.com.au

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Felicity Iredale Felicity Iredale

 Senior Associate

 P: 03 8602 7254
 E: firedale@rk.com.au

 View Profile 

 

 

Learn more about Russell Kennedy's expertise in the Health sector here.

If you'd like to stay up to date with Russell Kennedy's Insights, please sign up here.

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