In this edition:

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

Research & Development Tax Incentive

AusBiotech, BioMelbourne Network, Medicines Australia, Research Australia and Medical Technology Association of Australia have issued a joint statement critically responding to the package of measures proposed by the ‘Ferris, Finkel, Fraser’ Review of the Research & Development Tax Incentive.

In the joint statement, the companies have been especially critical of the proposed $2m cap and ‘intensity threshold’ to be imposed, warning it will have a significant, disproportionate and negative impact on the sector. They support their position with surveys taken throughout the sector on the impact of the proposed changes, including that more than 70% of impacted companies would reduce their Research & Development activity, clinical trials and late-stage research programs in Australia as a result.

The full statement is available here.

Australian Government announces funding for improvement of rural and regional health and medical services

The Australian Government has announced funding for a range of rural and regional health initiatives with a view to boosting rural and regional access to high-quality health and medical services. The funding will specifically focus on bridging the gap between the quality and range of medical services offered to people living in rural and regional communities compared to those living in cities.

Click here for information on the funding dedicated to improved videoconferencing psychological services.

Click here for information on the funding dedicated to the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program and view the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ media release celebrating the funding announcement here.

Click here for information on the funding dedicated to improved obstetric and maternal health services.

Medical Board and AHPRA adopt all recommendations of Chaperone Report

In August 2016 the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency commissioned an independent review into the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia.

The review, released publicly in early April 2017, revealed that the use of chaperones does not meet community expectations and does not always keep patients safe.

The review recommended that AHPRA no longer use chaperones as an interim restriction where a report of sexual misconduct is being investigated, establish a specialist team to work with the MBA to improve how sexual misconduct complaints are handled and reform chaperone protocols to strengthen monitoring and provide more information to patients who are seeing a medical practitioner who has a chaperone condition imposed. Additional information will include the reasons for the chaperone condition.

All recommendations have been adopted by the MBA and AHPRA.

To read the full report click here.

For AHPRA’s media release click here.