The Health Services Establishments Act 2006 (the HSE Act) was passed in 2006. The HSE Act regulates private health service establishments (private hospitals, day procedure centres and private residential care services) through a licensing regime.
Private Hospitals were formerly regulated by the Hospitals Act 1918. Day procedure centres and private residential care services (i.e. services not funded by the State or Commonwealth) were not previously regulated under Tasmanian law. The current Act and Regulations provide for a substantially more rigorous regulatory scheme than under the previous Hospitals Act.
The HSE Act commenced on 1 October 2011, following a consultation process and preparation of supporting regulations. The Health Services Establishments Regulations 2011 (the Regulations) also commenced on this date.
Private hospital licences previously regulated under the Hospitals Act 1918 automatically transitioned to the new scheme, and day procedure centres were required to be licensed from 1 April 2012.
As the operator of a private health facility in Tasmania, you will be required to comply with a large body of legislation, standards and guidelines.
The HSE Act and Regulations specify certain standards which must be met for licensed facilities, such as those for achieving accreditation, credentialing staff, safety and quality standards, operational procedures, medication management, infection control, incident reporting, fire and environmental safety, record keeping and equipment maintenance (e.g. compliance with building code requirements).
It is crucial that you are aware of the standards that must be met by your facility to continue licensed operation. Licensing requirements are outlined throughout the HSE Act and Regulations. The schedules to the Regulations also apply additional standards for specific classes of facility, and specific types of procedures. See What parts of the HSE Act and Regulations apply to my facility? for more information.
The HSE Act and Regulations also refer to a number of other industry standards and legislative sources, which you will also need to be aware of to ensure compliance. Additional legislation may also apply to your facility, depending on the nature of the services you provide (for example, the use of lasers for diagnostic or therapeutic use requires a licence under the Radiation Protection Act 2005). Provided below is a brief overview of some relevant regulatory sources.
The Health Services Regulation Management Guide has been developed to assist health facilities to better understand the Tasmanian regulatory environment. A copy of this document is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. It is however also recommended that you seek independent legal advice about your obligations under state and federal legislation, and the various clinical guidelines and standards applicable to your facility.