Government responds to Dementia Forum’s options report

On 4 February 2015, the Coalition Government responded to the Forum Option Report provided by the Forum Working Group as a result of the Ministerial Dementia Forum, Dementia Care - Core Business for Aged Care, which was held on 11 September 2014.  The Government announced, among other things, that it would invest $54.5 million over 4 years to establish Severe Behaviour Response Teams; a mobile workforce of clinical experts to provide advice to aged care providers who request assistance with addressing the needs of residents/patients who exhibit the most severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

To view the media release, click here.

To view the option report, click here.


Draft legislation to transfer regulation of private health insurers

On 12 January 2015, the Coalition Government released an exposure draft of the Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill 2015 (Cth).  If enacted, the exposure draft would provide for a new Act to regulate private health insurers, as well as transferring responsibility for the regulation of private health insurers from the Private Health Insurance Administration Council to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Along with the exposure draft, the Government released a general consultation paper on changes to the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 (Cth).

Submissions closed on 30 January 2015.

To view the exposure draft, click here.

To view the consultation papers, click here.


Health Care Complaints Commission v Quach [2015] NSWCATOD 2

On 5 February 2015, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal determined that a medical practitioner was not competent to practice on the ground of mental incapacity. 

Dr Quach, who had been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, was the subject of complaints from ten former patients.  The Tribunal found that Dr Quach’s personality disorder potentially put the public in danger, stating that it “severely compromised” his ability to practice medicine, including in relation to diagnostics, treatment regimes, interacting with patients and peers and adhering to general expectations and standards of behaviour for medical practitioners.

Dr Quach was found to have engaged in conduct constituting unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.

To view the judgment, click here.


QC appointed to head VLRC medical cannabis review

Dr Ian Freckelton, QC has been appointed as Special Commissioner to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review into the use of medical cannabis.  The VLRC will review and report on options for changes to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) and associated regulations to allow for medical use of cannabis in exceptional circumstances.

To view the terms of reference, click here.

Public consultation on draft guidelines on organ transplantation

On 19 January 2015, the National Health and Medical Research Council released a draft of the Ethical guidelines for organ transplantation from deceased donors.  The NHMRC is currently seeking public consultation on the draft guidelines.

Submissions close on 6 March 2015.

To view the draft guidelines, click here.

Proposed changes to reporting requirements for providers of residential aged care and home care

The Department of Social Services has released a discussion paper outlining proposed changes to the financial and prudential reporting requirements for providers of residential and home care.  The DSS is currently seeking consultation on the discussion paper.

Submissions close on 27 February 2015.

To view the discussion paper, click here.

Advanced Practice Pharmacist – pilot program begins

The pilot program which will provide pharmacists with the opportunity to obtain a new credential, the Advanced Practice Pharmacist, has begun.  The role has been developed in response to the 2010 national review of the pharmacists’ competency standards and will be credentialed by the Australian Pharmacy Council.