July 19, 2017
Dental Practice Closure Prompts Tougher Laws to Target Unsafe Health Facilities in Queensland
Last month I attended a ADAWA CPD Course that focused on areas of legal risk for dental practitioners. Thank you to Dr Brad Wright, the presenter.
One of these areas of risk discussed was close to my heart – infection control.
Dr Wright stressed to us West Australians that infection control is the ‘new weapon that will be used in the coming years to discipline dentists more broadly through both health funds and also through State Governments and the federal regulator being AHPRA.”
In the last two years, failures in infection control compliance has been prominent in the media.
On May 23, 2017, The Public Health (Infection Control) Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by the Queensland Parliament.
This is an amendment to the Queensland Public Health Act 2005.
Why was this amendment bill even introduced?
At the end of 2016, Queensland Health closed down Gap Free Smiles in Brisbane due to substandard infection control practices. The practice had re-used single use items, inadequately sterilised other items, inadequately trained staff and had an inadequate Infection Control Management Plan (ICMP) (Only dental practices in Queensland are required to have an ICMP).
This event highlighted a number of shortcoming within the Act. For example, Queensland Health was unable to act without first seeking agreement from the Brisbane City Council to issue a public health order to close the practice.
Penalties for non-compliance can be imposed and range from $121,00 to $365,00!
The aim of the new amendment is to be proactive rather than reactive.
So, for those of us here Western Australia, it is time to pay attention to what is going on over east.
There has been a great deal of change in recent years with regards to infection control.
Are you concerned about poor or non-compliance regarding infection control in your practice?
- Infection Control