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Insights

RK Health Insights 12 December 2016

The latest insights from our Health Law team.

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$10 million funding for cancer research

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The State Labor Government is providing $10 million in funding, in addition to the $5.8 million allocated in the 2016/17 budget, to cancer research.

This funding will allow the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (“VCCC”) alliance to undertake new research projects; exploring cancer biomarkers, diagnosis, early detection methods and new therapeutics.

The VCCC will be working with the USA’s National Cancer Institute to fast-track the conversion of research findings into clinical practice and improve education and training in metropolitan and regional centres.

Read the media release here.

Health Care Homes

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The Federal Government has announced last month that general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (“ACCHS”) in selected regions are now able to apply for stage one of the Health Care Homes initiative.

The Health Care Home model is designed to improve care for patients with chronic and complex conditions. Under this model, eligible patients can enrol with a participating medical practice known as their Health Care Home. This practice will then provide patients with a ‘home base’ for the coordination, management and support of their conditions.

The Government has allocated over $100 million to support the implementation of stage one of the project, which will take place between July 2017 and June 2019.

A list of eligible regions in which general practices and ACCHS can apply for the project can be found on the Department of Health website.

Read the Minister for Health’s announcement here and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners media release regarding the project here.

Tribunal reprimands Enrolled Nurse for failing to advocate for her patient

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The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“VCAT”) has found Ms Catherine George, an Enrolled Nurse, guilty of unprofessional conduct for failing to make adequate notes and failing to advocate for her patient.

In relation to the first allegation, VCAT found Ms George failed to take adequate notes and make clear records relating to observations of the patient, test results, the anaesthetic procedure and the emergency nature of the procedure.

Ms George was also found to not have advocated for her patient during surgery. Other staff involved believed the patient to be unconscious and did not administer anaesthetic. However, Ms George observed that, while the patient was drowsy, she was responsive. VCAT found that Ms George was under an obligation to alert other medical staff when she noticed this and to query the anaesthetist as to whether treatment should continue without anaesthetic.

VCAT imposed conditions on Ms George’s registration requiring her to undertake further education and training within 8 months. The training covers law and ethics, including a component on record taking and documentation requirements.

Read the press release here and VCAT’s decision here.