There is a mandatory legal requirement that health professionals report certain medical events, conditions and diseases to the Western Australian Department of Health.
The Health Act 1911 (external site), the Poisons Act 1964 (external site) and the Poisons Regulations 1965 (external site) and some related regulations (see specific events below) specify the obligations under which health professionals must report the following events, conditions and diseases:
Why mandatory reporting is important
Medical practitioners are a key source of timely information about a range of public health issues, including outbreaks of communicable disease.
This information is vital in assisting the Department of Health (Western Australia) to monitor medical events and develop appropriate health responses and policies, both in the short and long term.
Prompt and appropriate reporting allows the prevention and alleviation of communicable and non-communicable disease processes through:
- monitoring of changes in the incidence of communicable diseases and the identification of emerging disease
- prompt investigation, contact tracing and treatment of communicable diseases
- early identification of disease outbreaks such as food-borne diseases that require urgent public health interventio
- monitoring of patterns of prescribing of drugs of addictio
- monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of health programs such as cancer screening, cancer treatment programs, infectious disease control programs and certain clinical procedures
- identification of risk factors and areas of need in relation to particular types of medical events or conditions
- planning of services in relation to key public health issues.
Some state legislation specifies the requirement for authorisation (e.g. for prescribing Schedule 8 medicines – see addiction to drugs) to be obtained prior to particular medical actions.
- Regulatory Support Unit, Public Health
Phone: 9222 2295