This article applies to pathology services in Victoria.
Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment Regulations 2023 (Vic)
On 1 June 2023, the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment Regulations 2023 (Vic) (the Amending Regulations) amended the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 (Vic) (the Regulations).
Additional contact information to be notified by pathology services
Pathology services will be aware that if a result of a test indicates that a person has (or may have) a notifiable condition set out in Part 1 or Part 2 of Schedule 4 of the Regulations, the pathology service is required to provide notification details which include for example, the person’s date of birth and their sex etc. The Amending Regulations have amended the Regulations to prescribe an additional case information notification detail to be provided by pathology services if a test result indicates that person has or may have a notifiable condition set out in Part 1 or Part 2 of Schedule 4 of the Regulations.
Pathology services must now also provide the contact details of the person to whom the test relates, or the parent or guardian, if applicable. It is important to note however that these details are not required for notifiable conditions marked with a * in Schedule 4 of the Regulations, such as a Chlamydia trachomatis infection or Donovanosis (Klebsiella granulomatis infection) for example.
Finally, the Amending Regulations have also reinserted severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as a notifiable condition in the Regulations. Please note however that this does not create an operational change for organisations, as pathology services are currently required to notify COVID-19 tests in accordance with an Order in Council that will cease to have effect on 1 June 2023 (coinciding with the commencement of the Amending Regulations.)
Organisations should ensure pathology staff are made aware of the additional contact details to be notified (as discussed above). Organisations should also update their policies and procedures to reflect this new notification requirement under the Regulations.