Commencement of the Health Services (Private Hospitals and Day Procedure Centres) Amendment Regulations 2018

The Health Legislation Amendment (Quality and Safety) Act 2017 (the amending Act), developed in response to the Targeting Zero recommendations, which amends the Health Services Act 1988, was passed by the Victorian Parliament in 2017 and came into operation on 1 July 2018.

To support the amending Act, the Health Services (Private Hospitals and Day Procedure Centres) Regulations 2013 (the Regulations) were also amended. The Health Services (Private Hospitals and Day Procedure Centres) Amendment Regulations 2018 (the amending Regulations) also came into effect on 1 July 2018. 

The changes to the Regulations:

  • align provisions in accordance with the amending Act
  • review and modernise provisions where required
  • identify and remove any requirements found to impose undue regulatory burden
  • strengthen the minimum requirements for the quality and safety of care that private hospitals and day procedure centres provide to patients.

In developing the amending Regulations the department conducted extensive consultations with the private hospital sector, medical and nursing colleges, peak bodies, private health insurers, medical indemnity insurers and individual clinicians.

One significant change is the inclusion of anaesthesia in the Regulations.  From 1 July 2018 anaesthesia (general anaesthesia, major regional blocks, intravenous sedation and local anaesthesia with potential to cause systemic toxicity) may only be provided in a registered hospital or day procedure centre. Dental practices must use the services of a registered mobile anaesthetic or dental sedation service if they are providing anaesthesia or intravenous sedation.

Any facility providing liposuction services, including existing facilities, must now be registered with the department.  The only exception to the requirement is where the removal of a total of less than 200ml of lipoaspirate under low dose local anaesthetic occurs.  This procedure can be undertaken in unregistered rooms.

Facilities providing  alcohol and drug withdrawal, including existing facilities, are also required to be registered with the department. Typically this involves the first 7 days of treatment although it may be longer. Facilities offering the rehabilitation phase of alcohol and drug recovery only are not within the scope of the regulations and do not require registration.