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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3526 ..



Question No. 292

Skin Penetration Procedures

Mr Berry - asked the Minister for Health and Community Care upon notice on 3 September 1996.

Considering the concerns raised by the recent changes to the requirements for professionals performing skin penetration procedures -

(1) Will you

(a) review the new requirements;

(b) return the standards to those recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council;

(c) remove the $100 inspection fee.

MRS CARNELL - the answer to the Member's question is:

(1)(a) The Skin Penetration Procedures Act was introduced in 1994 by the previous government following concerns over patient to patient transmissions of HIV in a doctors surgery in Sydney and reports from overseas implicating dentists in the transfer of hepatitis B and HIV from dentists to patients.

There are no new requirements for professionals performing skin penetration procedures. The requirements set out in the Skin Penetration Procedures Code of Practice require documented evidence of physical, chemical and biological indicators in accordance with accepted protocols. The accepted protocols for monitoring the sterilisation process and infection control are the NHMRC/ANCA guidelines on Infection control in the health care setting - April 1996 and Amendment 1 to the Australian Standard 4187--1994.

The Code of Practice was developed with extensive consultation with relevant provider groups.

(b) The Code of Practice is consistent with the NHMRC guidelines and Australian Standards.

(c) The purpose of the $100 fee is to partly cover the costs of providing an infection control advisory service. This fee was determined through estimating the number of premises and the time necessary for assessment, education and licensing.

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