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Welcome to the fourth issue of Health Care Update. This publication provides information about legal issues and topics affecting health care providers and insurers.

In this issue, we remind the health care industry about the changes to the sale of over-the-counter codeine products and what providers need to know about the new mandatory reporting requirements for data breaches. We look at the results of a couple of new court cases that are changing how liability and damages are determined, and shed some light on new Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines and how health care complaints are dealt with.

Codeine—prescription only

As of 1 February 2018, codeine-based products previously available over-the-counter became obtainable by prescription. With Coroner's Courts and AHPRA adopting increased vigilance over codeine-related fatalities, it's important that health practitioners take note of expectations about prescribing codeine products. Read more

Mandatory data breach reporting and the health care sector

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme came into effect on 22 February 2018, imposing stiff obligations on organisations to report cyber breaches that potentially affect personal data. We look at the impact on the health care sector. Read more

Updates from the courts

Australian and English law around medical manslaughter is diverging after a new case in the English courts, while the jury is still out on the benefits of spinal fusion surgery, and in the ACT the Supreme Court has taken a novel approach to calculating economic damages. Read more

Procedural developments

AHRPA has tightened its guidelines about conditions under which health care practitioners may work following an allegation of sexual misconduct. A recent case illustrates how disruptive investigations by health profession regulators can be and we shine a spotlight on the Queensland Office of the Health Ombudsman. Read more

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