Meridian Lawyers often receives calls from doctors and other health practitioners requesting one-off advice relating to their day-to-day practice. One common and enduring theme of these requests for advice is death certificates – who can prepare them, and when? For example, if a patient dies in an aged care home, can a locum doctor certify […]
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INSIGHT: What do I do if there is an accidental breach of my patient’s privacy? Advice for health practitioners and organisations
It is trite advice to Australian health practitioners to say that they must exercise caution when dealing with their patients’ sensitive health information. However, even the most cautious practitioner or organisation can fall victim to an inadvertent breach of patient privacy. Accidents happen, and Meridian Lawyers frequently receives requests for assistance from practitioners or organisations […]
INSIGHT: A warning to health practitioners: is your professional indemnity insurance in place?
The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has sent a loud message to all health practitioners to actively check that their professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements are in order by suspending a psychologist who failed to do so. The practitioner in question had delegated the task of paying all insurance renewals to a family member, […]
INSIGHT: Western Australia: What are the Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Registered Health Practitioners?
In early 2020, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) released revised guidelines for mandatory notifications made to AHPRA by treating practitioners. These guidelines were issued in anticipation of amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in participating states and territories. The amendments came into effect in March 2020. The purpose […]
INSIGHT: Using the new MBS telehealth item numbers to care for patients from home? Here are some of the risks and limitations for medical practitioners
As part of the national health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has rolled out new temporary Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) ‘telehealth’ items. The purpose of these item numbers is to enable patients to receive essential health care during the pandemic whilst reducing the community transmission of COVID-19. At this stage, the item […]
INSIGHT: A reminder on section 130 of the National Law: notify the National Boards of ‘certain events’, or face a possible finding of unprofessional conduct
Most registered health practitioners are aware of the obligation to notify the National Board of certain events should they occur. These requirements are set out in section 130 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (the “National Law”). However, we have recently seen an ‘uptick’ in the number of disciplinary decisions which have […]
INSIGHT: Professional Services in New South Wales – approval is required
Professional services rooms are defined in Schedule 5F of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) (National Law) as “premises in or on which a person carries on a pharmacy business that involves only – the preparation and packaging of drugs, or the packaging of drugs, by or under the personal supervision of a pharmacist, […]
INSIGHT: AHPRA releases revised Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications about registered health practitioners
On 21 February 2020, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) released revised guidelines in anticipation of changes to mandatory notification requirements coming into effect in March 2020. The revised guidelines explain the requirements to make mandatory notifications under the updated legislative requirements for treating registered health practitioners, non-treating registered health practitioners, employers of registered […]
INSIGHT: Regulation of unregistered health practitioners in WA – is the current system adequate?
The mechanisms for complaints and statutory protections available for health care consumers, vary across Australia. In order to better protect the public and to set standards of conduct and practice for all unregistered health service providers, the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Health Council Final Report (COAG Final Report) recommended that every state implement the […]
INSIGHT: Audio and Video Records – are they legal?
It may seem an easier way in this technologically savvy world we inhabit, to simply record information or other data about patients, either by audio or visual means. This is attractive as records are correct and comprehensive and may be utilised in the defence of any complaint. However, there are legalities surrounding such records and […]
INSIGHT: Owing prescriptions – are you courting danger?
Most pharmacists will have been asked to dispense prescription-only medicines to patients who do not have a valid prescription. Although Pharmacy Dispensing Software (PDS) allows for the processing and supply of medicines without a valid prescription, thereby creating an ‘owing’, there is no legislation that provides for this. Pharmacists assisting their patients should familiarise themselves […]