Copy

 

Welcome to HealthFiles, one of the few publications out at the moment that is guaranteed not to feature Donald Trump.

Thanks to the hard working team at B.N., we have some wonderful articles in this edition. You might also have noticed our new format, which includes monthly reports on what’s happening in Queensland with disciplinary decisions and coronial findings.

Telemedicine is in our sights and will feature in our next edition. With great opportunity comes great reward and, also, greater risk. We will look at all of these issues in the context of what is happening now in Australia, a leader in the field of virtual medicine.

Keep an eye out for our Healthy Breakfast Series starting in Brisbane soon. More details to follow.

In the meantime, please enjoy this edition of Healthfiles and feel free to contact the authors on the contact details provided.

Rob Samut | Partner

HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS - WHEN ARE HOSPITALS LEGALLY LIABLE?

 

In previous HealthFiles articles, we have highlighted the implications of antibiotic resistance and hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), those which patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions.

These issues remain topical.  There are around 200,000 HAIs in Australian healthcare facilities each year affecting 1 in 10 hospital admissions. These infections lead to extended hospital stays and an increase in treatment and diagnostics, so amplifying costs. Read more.

WHAT DO THE NEW MENTAL HEALTH REFORMS MEAN FOR HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS IN QLD?

 
The Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld) (“the Act”) represents the biggest mental health law reform in Queensland in 15 years. Existing laws governing the examination and treatment of patients with a mental illness have not up kept to date with developments in patient rights and clinical practice. Hospitals and medical practitioners have until November 2016 (when the laws come into force) to familiarise themselves with the changes. Read more.
 

CEREBRAL PALSY - A GENETIC CONDITION?

 
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, with an incidence of around 1 in 500 births. The condition has traditionally been assumed to be caused by brain injury sustained during childbirth.  It can lead to a very severe disability, and is frequently the subject of damages claims pursued on the basis that different management of the mother’s labour could have avoided the injury.  Claims tend to be in large, and it is estimated that around $300 million dollars is spent on settlements of cerebral palsy cases in Australia each year. Read more.
 

AROUND THE COURTS

 
Stefanyszyn v Brown; Brown v Newcastle Private Hospital Limited t/as Newcastle Private Hospital [2016] NSWSC 826

Justice Schmidt’s decision in Stefanyszyn v Brown; Brown v Newcastle Private Hospital Limited t/as Newcastle Private Hospital [2016] NSWSC 826 is an important reminder of the difference between the duty of care owed by a visiting medical officer who provides medical services to patients at a hospital, and the duty of care owed by the hospital.

It is also an important reminder that the duty of care owed by a hospital and a medical practitioner is independent of the duty owed by the other and cannot be delegated.
 Read more.
 

CONTINUING REGULATORY AND INSURANCE CRISIS SURROUNDING HOME BIRTHS

 
We have previously examined the regulatory and insurance frameworks permitting unregulated and uninsured midwives to perform intrapartum services (deliver babies) against a background of cases where negligence during home birth had left families without remedies. In this article, we take a look at what has changed in the regulatory and insurance framework two years on. Read more.
 

WHAT DOES THE NDIS COVER?

 
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal in McGarrigle v National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) affirmed the decision of the NDIA to only partially fund transport costs for a young man under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Read more.
 

CORONERS COURT OF QUEENSLAND

 
Five year old boy with respiratory and cardiac issues dies before he can be transferred to hospital with better resources.

Kesler was a 5 year old boy who presented at the Mt Isa Base Hospital on 24 February 2012 with a history of acute rheumatic fever. He had cardiac symptoms. He was monitored overnight, but his condition deteriorated and it was determined that he should be transferred to Townsville Hospital for further care.
 
When the retrieval team attended they determined Kesler required intubation and that they did not have the skills to transfer him safely. Another retrieval team was called, but did not arrive in time. Kesler passed away at 1035 hours on 25 February 2012. Read more.

 

Man thought to have pneumonia dies within hours of seeing his GP due to DVT complications.

On 29 April 2014 Scott Bradshaw, aged 38, visited his GP complaining of shortness of breath over the last 6 months, which had been worse over the last week. Mr Bradshaw was immediately referred to the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee (QE II) Hospital at 1630 hours with presumed pneumonia, having presented with shortness of breath, fever and pleuritic chest pain.

Testing was done but Mr Bradshaw declined quickly, with his heart rate increasing to 200 together with a weak pulse. He required intubation but went into cardiac arrest. He was declared deceased at 1955 hours. Read more.

INQUIRY INTO PERFORMANCE OF THE HEALTH OMBUDSMAN

 
In Queensland, the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) commenced operation on 1 July 2014.  From that date, the Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC) ceased to exist and the OHO took up its intended role as a single point of contact for all health service complaints in Queensland. Read more.
 

AHPRA PERFORMANCE REPORT FOR QLD PRACTITIONERS

 
The AHPRA performance report for Queensland for the period January to March 2016 was published by AHPRA on 4 July 2016. Read more.
 

DISCIPLINARY DECISIONS

 

Medical Board of Australia v de Silva [2016] QCAT 63 (Delivered on 30 May 2016)

Allegation of unsatisfactory professional conduct referable to post operative care and treatment of a patient. Read more.

 



Medical Board of Australia v Ong [2016] QCAT 54 (Delivered on 20 May 2016)

Allegation of professional misconduct. Inappropriate prescription of prescribed drugs of dependency and/or controlled drugs. Read more.

 



Medical Board of Australia v Kenneth James Stark [2016] QCAT 175 (Delivered on 2 March 2016)

Allegations of professional misconduct. Conduct included inappropriate prescribing, treating persons in a close personal relationship, inappropriate storage and handling of controlled drugs, substandard documentation, recklessly making an untrue statement and performing surgery while impaired. Consideration of whether sanction agreed was appropriate. Read more.