Medical practitioners and pathology services play a vital role in protecting public health by notifying cases of specific infectious diseases and other conditions to the Department of Health and Human Services.
This not only provides a crucial early warning of a potential threat to public health and enables the department to respond to prevent or control the spread of disease, it also provides data on significant diseases in Victoria, allowing for the identification of emerging trends and the implementation of appropriate policy responses and public health interventions.
The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 sets out the requirements for both medical practitioners and pathology services to notify the department of cases of specific infectious diseases and other medical conditions. The accompanying Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009, which list the conditions that must be notified and contain details on the notification process, have been reviewed and amended following consultation with medical practitioners, pathology services, infectious disease experts and other key stakeholders.
It is important to regularly update public health practices to provide Victorians with a health system that best serves the community.
The amended regulations will commence on 1 September 2018 and will help to reduce the notification workload for medical practitioners, streamline reporting and modernise the scheme.
More detail on the changes is provided in the information bulletin below.