1st Edition – Health Insurance Quarterly Newsletter

16 May 2016

We are delighted to welcome you to the first edition of the HWL Ebsworth Health Insurance Quarterly Newsletter.

With insurance lawyers in each mainland capital city, HWL Ebsworth has one of the largest insurance practices in Australia, dedicated to assisting clients in all aspects of insurance and reinsurance. Within the national practice group we have a team of partners and lawyers who specialise in health insurance and have market-leading expertise across all Australian jurisdictions.

As part of our focus on the health insurance industry, each quarter we will address a range of topics designed to provide industry stakeholders with an insight into legal and other industry developments across the nation.

In this inaugural edition we review the following topics:

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

So what’s happening at the Office of the Health Ombudsman Queensland?  Read about the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll which is all in a day’s work at the OHO.

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Health practitioners selling great expectations

In early 2016 the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal delivered a decision which included a complaint in relation to the practitioner selling the patient a product described as a ‘nutritional and detoxification program at a cost of some $3,500.00’.  We consider the difficulties and potential consequences of health practitioners retailing products to patients.

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Is time running? – Limitation periods and latent conditions

Are you managing a latent condition claim?  We discuss the ramifications of the unanimous High Court decision in Alcan Gove Pty Ltd v Zabic [2015] HCA 33 for determining when a latent injury accrues and the practical issues the decision gives rise to for health care providers and claims managers dealing with latent condition claims.

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But no one told me!

As a health service provider, the balance between your obligations to protect your patients’ privacy and to comply with court or tribunal orders to produce records is fraught with difficulty. The ACT Health Services Commissioner is working with the ACT Legislature to implement changes which may affect those obligations and your internal policies.

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Expert witness immunity revisited: “An intimate connection”

The High Court of Australia’s decision last year to grant special leave to appeal in Attwells v Jackson Lalic Lawyers Pty Ltd  caused some concern there may have been a readiness to dispense with, or limit, advocate’s immunity,  and in turn, impact on expert witness immunity in Australia.

On 4 May 2016, the High Court of Australia delivered its judgment in Attwells. Whilst the decision did not expressly consider expert witness immunity, we consider it timely to revisit expert witness immunity in Australia.

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Adult Guardianship laws in the NT face major over haul

Darwin considers the impact that proposed changes to the NT Guardianship regime will have on the most vulnerable in our community. Although some aspects of the changes are a welcome development in streamlining the process, those in need will lose their fundamental right to free, independent legal representation.

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