Health Bulletin September 5, 2022 | health law


The latest information from our Health Law team:

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Updated guidelines published by PROV

The Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) updated its current retention and destruction authorizations (GDR) to specify minimum retention periods and authorize the destruction of certain COVID-19 related records.

RDAs are PROV standards and instruments authorizing the destruction of public records and:

  1. set the minimum retention period for which the different categories of documents must be kept and the way in which they must be disposed of;
  2. authorize the destruction of records that are no longer needed; and
  3. identify documents that must be permanently preserved as state archives.

The updated guidelines will help officials manage records related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as finding contracts and other COVID-safe data, and ensure public record disposal is open, transparent and accountable.

In issuing its updated guidelines, PROV stated that “RDAs [are] now updated to cover COVID-19 related records, including RDAs for Service Victoria, Public Health, Local Government and Common Administrative Functions”.

To read an article on the updated guidelines, click here and to access the RDA link on the PROV website, click here.

Updates from the NDIS Commission

The NDIS Quality and Assurance Commission (NDIS Committee) the audit cycle is in full swing.

If you are a registered supplier who was registered on or after December 1, 2020, you may be late for your certification audit conducted by an NDIS Commission-accredited auditor.

Recent audits have revealed that the NDIS Commission warns registered providers to have strong emergency and disaster plans in place. This likely stems from recent emergencies and disasters, such as the floods in New South Wales and Queensland, which left many participants without support for long periods. Registered providers are required to outline in their service agreements how they will handle emergencies and have a solid plan for how the provider will provide support during a disaster.

This change follows recent events and NDIS updates regarding disability employment providers and price revisions.

For more information about the NDIS and changes that may affect you, please contact the Russell Kennedy Disability Sector Team here.

Victoria GP suspended for false prescription and regulator deception

A Victorian GP has had his registration suspended for two months and reprimanded for wrongly prescribing oxycodone and misleading the New South Wales Medical Council (medical advice).

The GP admitted to wrongly prescribing a Schedule 8 drug on three occasions. Suspicions arose when a pharmacist became concerned about one of the prescriptions and who picked it up. The GP used hospital prescription forms on behalf of a friend who intended to use the medicine himself. He also misled the Medical Board as to the amount and nature of his self-prescription on behalf of another person.

The case went to Victoria Civil and Administrative Court (VCAT) by the Medical Board of Australia. When making its decision, the VCAT considered the mitigating factors of admission, insight, remorse and proactive rehabilitation by the GP, but gave limited weight to the stressors in his life at the time of the self-prescribing events.

The VCAT noted that this case demonstrates the dangers to physicians “who may be attracted to self-prescribing controlled substances…and the important role pharmacists play in identifying illegal prescriptions.”

For more details on this, click here.

HESTA and ISPT to co-develop $140m ‘hospital campus’ medical practice in Melbourne

Industry superfund, HESTA, and industry superfund-backed property investor, ISPT, have formed a joint venture to develop a ‘hospital campus’ medical office building in Fitzroy, Melbourne, worth $140 million.

The joint venture acquired a 50-year ground lease from St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) and SVHA will commit in advance to leasing just under half of the building for 10 years, as part of the transfer of its existing administration, offices and health services from other satellite campuses to the Fitzroy’s new campus.

SVHA’s interim group CEO, Ruth Martin, said “the planned development means more Australians will benefit from the groundbreaking clinical care and research being carried out by St Vincent’s and our partners.”

The SVHA-owned land at 31-25 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy is zoned for Public Use – Health and Community under Yarra Town and had been earmarked by SVHA for development as part of its Campus Master Plan.

HESTA and IPST aim to submit plans to the council in the coming months and if approved, the project should reach practical completion by 2025.

To learn more about the new development, click here.

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