Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

QAA 13/2016 Declarations/Other as made
This instrument declares the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program to be a quality assurance activity to which Part VC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) applies. Information known solely as the result of the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program, or documents created solely for the purposes of the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program, will be covered by qualified privilege.
Administered by: Health
Registered 11 Aug 2016
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR30-Aug-2016
Tabled Senate30-Aug-2016
To be ceased 08 Aug 2021
Ceased by Self Ceasing

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

ISSUED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE

HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973

DECLARATION OF QUALITY ASSURANCE ACTIVITY UNDER SECTION 124X OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973 - QAA 13/2016

 

Part VC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) creates a scheme to encourage efficient quality assurance activities.  Those activities help to ensure the quality of health services that are funded by the Government including, through Medicare benefits, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, 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 to apply to an activity, the Minister must make a declaration pursuant to section 124X of the Act, that the activity is a quality assurance activity to which Part VC applies. 

The Declaration of Quality Assurance Activity under section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973 - QAA 12/2016 (the Declaration) has effect from the day after registration on the Federal Register of Legislation. 

 

The Declaration applies Part VC of the Act to the following activity, to the extent it relates to health services provided in Australia:

 

1.      Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR): RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program

 

An overview of the activity is contained in Attachment A.

Before making a declaration under section 124X, the Minister must be satisfied that the persons engaging in the activity are authorised to do so in one of the ways set out in paragraph 124X(3)(a) of the Act.  The persons engaged in the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program are authorised to do so by RANZCR, which is an association of health professionals and an educational institution (see subparagraphs 124X(3)(a)(vi) and (iv)).

Secondly, paragraph 124X (3)(b) of the Act provides that the Minister must be satisfied that it is in the public interest that Part VC of the Act apply to the activity. In doing so, the Minister must have regard to criteria prescribed by regulations. The criteria are set out in regulations 23C to 23G of the Health Insurance Regulations 1975 (the Regulations).

The RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program meet the criteria as follows:

·         As required by regulation 23C, the activity includes the disclosure of non-identifying information that concerns the quality of service assessed, evaluated or studied. The RANZCR will publish annual results of accreditation activities on the RANZCR website, and provide reports to the Standards of Practice and accreditation Committee and management panels.

·         Regulation 23D does not apply as the activity will be undertaken in more than one State or Territory.

·         Regulation 23E does not apply as the activity has previously been engaged in Australia.


·         Regulation 23F applies as the activity has previously been carried out in Australia. The Minister’s declaration will encourage greater participation in the activity by persons who provide health services by providing participants with a greater degree of confidence and security that their participation is solely to the benefit of establishing and improving quality assurance.

·         Regulation 23G does not apply as the activity will not include the assessment or evaluation by a person of the services, skill or performance of a health practitioner for the purpose of determining the health care practitioner’s clinical practicing rights.

 

CONSULTATION

         

The RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program was previously declared to be quality assurance activity under section 124X of the Act (see Declaration of Quality Assurance Activity under section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (QAA 2/2011)). RANZCR applied to continue the declaration of their activity as a quality assurance activity to which Part VC applies.

 

An assessment of the application included an assessment of 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 met the criteria required for declaration as set out in the Regulations.

 

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

 

The Declaration comes into operation on the day after registration on the Federal Register of Legislation.

 

Subsection 124X(4) of the Act provides that, unless sooner revoked, a declaration ceases to be in force at the end of 5 years after it was signed.  Accordingly, the Declaration provides that it is repealed at the end of 5 years after it is signed.

 

The Declaration is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.


 

ATTACHMENT A

OVERVIEW OF THE ACTIVITY

1.                  PURPOSE OF ACTIVITY

The RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program provides a framework for the development and implementation standard of practice for medical imaging services.  These standards are implemented through a series of quality assurance processes, some of which involve imaging practices’ submission of data to RANZCR for expert peer review.  Participating radiologists obtain professional expert feedback and advice to support their continuous quality improvement processes in medical imaging

The Program covers mammography and MRI services.

            The objectives of the activity are to:

·         support and promote quality mammograph and MRI services that meets community needs;

·         ensure the diagnostic quality of clinical images being produced;

·         ensure that imaging equipement is operating optimally, which is partciular important for mammography which is ionising radiation;

·         provide peer reviewed feedback to sites on quality improvements;

·         identify and improve system and process shortfalls that effect the delivery of safe imaging services; and

·         assist in the development and implementation of best practice standards and guidelines.

General accreditation against the full suite of RANZCR standards by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) is not part of the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program.


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 13/2016

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

The Declaration of Quality Assurance Activity under section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973 – QAA 13/2016 (the Declaration) declares the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program to be a quality assurance activity to which Part VC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) applies. Information known solely as the result of the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program, or documents created solely for the purposes of the RANZCR Quality and Accreditation Program, will be covered by qualified privilege.

Human rights implications

This Declaration engages the right to health as set out in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right 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 Qualified Privilege Scheme established by Part VC of the Act 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 Declaration will provide participants with a greater degree of confidence and security that their participation is solely for the benefit of establishing and improving outcomes of the community health care.

Conclusion

This Declaration is compatible with human rights as it promotes the right to health.