Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

QAA 3/2014 Declarations/Other as made
This instrument declares the activity titled ‘The I-Med Network peer review quality assurance activity for I-Med Radiologists’ as a quality assurance activity under section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973.
Administered by: Health
Registered 02 Jun 2014
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR03-Jun-2014
Tabled Senate16-Jun-2014
Date ceased to have effect 25 May 2019
Ceased by Self Ceasing

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

 

HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973

 

DECLARATION OF QUALITY ASSURANCE ACTIVITY UNDER

SECTION 124X OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973 – QAA 3/2014

 

Part VC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) creates a scheme (known as the Commonwealth Qualified Privilege Scheme) to encourage efficient quality assurance activities.  Those activities help to ensure the quality of health services that are funded by the Government, through Medicare benefits, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Public Hospitals and/or Health Program Grants.  The scheme encourages participation in such activities by protecting certain information from disclosure, and also by providing some protection from civil liability to certain persons engaged in those activities in good faith, in respect of those activities.

 

In order for Part VC of the Act to apply to an activity, the Minister or his delegate must make a declaration pursuant to section 124X of the Act, that the activity described in the Declaration is a quality assurance activity to which Part VC applies.  Regulations 23C to 23G of the Health Insurance Regulations 1975 (the Regulations) set out the public interest criteria that must be met by quality assurance activities in order to be declared under section 124X of the Act.

 

The purpose of the Declaration of Quality Assurance Activity under section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973 – QAA 3/2014 (the Declaration) is to declare the activity titled ‘The I-Med Network peer review quality assurance activity for I-Med Radiologists’ as a quality assurance activity under section 124X of the Act.  The activity is being conducted by I-Med Network.

 

Before the Minister or his delegate can make a declaration, certain requirements must be met:

 

·         firstly, the Minister or his delegate must be satisfied that the persons engaged in the activity are authorised to do so as described in section 124X(3)(a) of the Act – this requirement is met as the persons engaged in the activity described in the Declaration are authorised to do so by I-Med Network,  a body that provides health care.

 

·         secondly, section 124X(3)(b) of the Act provides that the Minister or his delegate must be satisfied that it is in the public interest to have Part VC of the Act apply to the activity, having regard to the criteria prescribed in Regulations 23C to 23G –  the activity described in the Declaration meets the relevant criteria prescribed by the Regulations, as amongst other things, the declaration will encourage greater participation in the activity and acceptance, implementation and monitoring of any recommendations which arise from the activity.

 

The quality assurance activity described in the Declaration relates to a quality framework in which the individual practice, performance and competence of I-Med radiologists is evaluated by way of peer review through the assessment of the radiology services provided, gathering of collateral information from third parties, direct observations and/or performance improvement discussions.

 

The objectives of the activity are to minimise patient adverse outcomes and improve quality and safety on a nationally consistent basis.

 

Declaring the activity as a quality assurance activity under section 124X of the Act will provide protection to persons engaged in the activity and will encourage participation and provision of full and frank comments and opinions. 

 

Consultation

Consultation regarding the application for declaration for this activity was undertaken in December 2013.  This included obtaining advice on the potential value of declaring the activity as a quality assurance activity for the purposes of the Act, the methodology used to conduct the activity, and whether the application meets the criteria required for a declaration to be made, particularly the criteria relating to whether it is in the public interest to declare the activity.

 

Those consulted included members of the Qualified Privilege Advisory Group, which includes an external clinician; a legal expert; a quality manager working in the field of health care quality assurance; and a consumer representative.

 

The declaration of the activity will not result in any direct or substantial indirect effect on business.

 

This Declaration commences the day after registration on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.  Pursuant to section 124X(4) of the Act, this Declaration, unless sooner revoked, ceases to be in force at the end of 5 years after the instrument of declaration was signed.

 

This Declaration is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

 


Text Box: Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights
Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

DECLARATION OF QUALITY ASSURANCE ACTIVITY UNDER SECTION 124X OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973 – QAA 3/2014

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview of the Legislative Instrument
This Legislative Instrument declares the quality assurance activity titled ‘The I-Med Network peer review quality assurance activity for I-Med Radiologists’ as a quality assurance activity under section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act). This activity is being conducted by I-Med Network and relates to a quality framework in which to evaluate the individual practice, performance and competence of I-Med radiologists by way of peer review through the assessment of the radiology services provided, gathering of collateral information from third parties, direct observations and/or performance improvement discussions.  The objectives of the activity are to minimise patient adverse outcomes and improve quality and safety on a nationally consistent basis.

A declaration under Part VC of the Act encourages participation in the declared quality assurance activity by protecting certain information from disclosure and providing some protection from civil liability to people participating in the activity. However, the Qualified Privilege Scheme (QPS) created by Part VC of the Act does not remove the right of individuals to seek legal redress to resolve disputes with their doctor nor allow medical practitioners to avoid scrutiny by medical registration boards and/or health complaints processes.

Human rights implications
This Legislative Instrument engages the right to health as set out in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) by assisting with the progressive realisation by all appropriate means of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. 
The QPS is aimed at encouraging participation in quality assurance activities that help ensure the highest possible health care standards are maintained.  The quality assurance activity described in this Legislative Instrument will promote the right to health by helping to improve the overall quality of radiology services being provided to patients through the 
I-Med Network. 

Conclusion
This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it promotes human rights.
Professor Christopher Baggoley
Chief Medical Officer
Department of Health