Public Health

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Policy framework statement

The Public Health Policy Framework specifies the public health requirements that all Health Service Providers (HSPs) must comply with in order to ensure effective and consistent public health service across the WA health system.

Public health is the organised response by society to protect and promote health, and to prevent illness, injury and disability. The starting point for identifying public health issues, problems and priorities, and for designing and implementing interventions, is the population as a whole, or population sub-groups. Public health complements and works with clinical care to mitigate the demand for health services.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy framework is to ensure:

  • the prevention of disease before it occurs
  • the control of infectious disease transmission
  • the prevention of the development of complications of chronic disease
  • to promote and protect the health status of all Western Australians
  • the management of risk, whether natural or man-made
  • to identify and respond to opportunities to reduce inequities in health status.

This policy framework encompasses seven broad public health areas:

  1. Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  2. Communicable Disease Control
  3. Environmental Health Management
  4. Disaster Preparedness and Management
  5. Genomics and Screening
  6. Medicines and Poisons Management
  7. Public Health Regulatory.

Applicability

This policy framework is binding on each HSP to which it applies or relates.

Principles

The key principles that underpin this policy framework are:

Consistency
Consistent and compliant with relevant State and National legislation and policies.

Evidence-based and accessible
Publicly accessible and informed by research and evidence.

Integrity
To be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships.

Objectivity
The requirement to be precise, unbiased, open, honest and receptive to criticism. Bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others must not override professional or business judgements.

Population-focused
Promoting health and preventing disease before it occurs in the wider community.

Risk management
The organisation identifies and manages its risks. Each organisation has a distinct risk profile. Identifying its particular risk exposure and developing and implementing risk prevention and remediation plans is critical to ensure the organisation can operate effectively and efficiently to achieve its goals.

Legislative context

This policy framework is made pursuant to ss 26(2)(a)(c)(d)(l) of the Health Services Act 2016.

The Health Services Act 2016 refers to policy frameworks in ss. 26-27 and s. 34(2)(c).

The legislation below, may also apply:

  • Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cwlth)
  • Contaminated Site Act 2003
  • Emergency Management Act 2005
  • Food Act 2008
  • Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911
  • Health Professionals (Special Events Exemption) Act 2000
  • Medicines and Poisons Act 2014
  • National Health Security Act 2007 (Cwlth)
  • OHS Act 1984
  • Pharmacy Act 2010
  • Public Health Act 2016
  • Radiation Safety Act 1975
  • Tobacco Products Control Act 2006
  • Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007

Mandatory requirements

Under this policy framework HSPs must comply with all mandatory requirements* including:

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Mandatory requirements for health promotion, injury prevention, chronic disease prevention and cultural diversity include:

Disaster Preparedness and Management

Mandatory requirements for the prevention, preparedness, response to and recovery aspects of a health response to a major incident include:

Regulatory

Mandatory requirements for all aspects of public health regulations such as reporting and legislative compliance include:

Supporting information

The following documents support and inform the implementation of this policy framework:

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Disaster Preparedness and Management

Policy framework custodian

 

Assistant Director General
Public and Aboriginal Health Division

Enquiries relating to this Policy Framework may be directed to: PolicyFrameworkSupport@health.wa.gov.au

Review

This policy framework will be reviewed as required to ensure relevance and recency. At a minimum this policy framework will be reviewed within two years after first issue and at least every three years thereafter.

Version Effective from Effective to Amendment(s)
63 5 August 2022 Current Rescinded Policy: MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy. 
62 5 August 2022 5 August 2022 New Mandatory Policy: MP 0172/22 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting. This Policy supersedes MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy. 
61 22 July 2022 5 August 2022 Policy review and minor amendments to MP 0137/20 Managing HIV Transmission Risk Behaviours Policy. Minor amendments to supporting information guidelines. 
60 1 July 2022 22 July 2022 Amendments to MP 0158/21 Smoke Free Policy. Policy requirements amended to remove the partial exemption for involuntary mental health inpatients which expired on 30 June 2022. Updated reporting requirement for the Department of Health. Deletion of Involuntary mental health inpatient definition, Related Document - Implementation of the partial exemption for involuntary mental health inpatients and Supporting information - Guidelines for supporting involuntary mental health inpatients. 
59 14 May 2022 1 July 2022 Policy review with major amendments to MP 0108/19 Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance Policy. Amendments include the following: updated purpose section to remove information contained in the related document; updated policy requirements to link to the related document and to ensure they are measurable and updated the supporting information documents.  
58 13 May 2022 14 May 2022 Policy review with major amendments to MP 0120/19 Management and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Policy. Amendments include the following; policy title amended to clearly reflect the subject, updated purpose and applicability sections, new policy requirements documented, compliance monitoring section updated to link to the policy requirements, related documents updated to include statutory notification forms, supporting information updated to include new information and remove previous Appendix 1 and definitions amended to include additional terms. 
57 12 May 2022 13 May 2022 Amendment to MP 0170/21 Emergency Management Policy. Removal of Code Black Bravo - Active Shooter template and Business Continuity Plan Guidelines Supporting Information documents as no longer relevant. Amended wording in Section 3.2 to remove reference to the Business Continuity Plan Guidelines and replacement with ISO 22301 to allow for consistency and alignment to industry standards. 
56 4 May 2022 12 May 2022 Policy review and amendments to MP 0132/20 Staff Member Influenza Vaccination Program Policy.  Included new Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and removed Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 in the Purpose section. Updated link to the staff member vaccine consent form in the Related Documents section.
55 13 January 2022
4 May 2022 Amendment to MP 0153/21 COVID 19 Mandatory Vaccination and Vaccination Program Policy. Major amendment to reflect booster vaccination requirement per the Directions. 
54 29 October 2021
13 January 2022
New MP 0170/21 Emergency Management Policy.  Supersedes MP 0073/17 Emergency Management Policy, IC 0170/13 and OD 0595/15
53 17 September 2021 
29 October 2021
Amendment to MP 0153/21 COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination and Vaccination Program Policy to reflect new vaccination requirement per the Health Worker Directions and Aged Care Directions.
52 23 August 2021
17 September 2021 
MP 0139/20 Medicines Handling Policy - Amendment to Supporting Information - Guideline on Continuation of Opioid Substitution Treatment in Hospitals.
51 29 July 2021
23 August 2021
New MP 0167/21 Newborn Hearing Screening Program Policy superseded OD 0239/09.
50 19 July 2021
29 July 2021
MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy - Major Amendment: CDNA no longer have a 'probable' case definition - Section 7 modified and term 'probable removed throughout the Policy. 3/4 modified to stipulate a PFR is to be work for routine care of patients with confirmed or suspect COVID-19, Appendix 1 updated to reflect change in PPE equipment; and Table1 modified to reflect these changes.
49 5 July 2021 
19 July 2021
Major Amendment to Related document Making Healthy Choices Easier How to Classify Food and Drink Guide for MP 0142/20 Healthy Options WA Food and Nutrition Policy.
48 1 July 2021 
5 July 2021 
New MP 0158/21 Smoke Free Policy to supersede OD 0414/13.
47 30 June 2021
1 July 2021 

Retitle of OD 0388 to Health Care Worker Immunisation Policy as part of the OD/IC Project while under redevelopment to a Mandatory Policy.

Retitle of  OD 0342/11 to Tuberculosis and Health Care Works and relocation from Mandatory Requirements to Supporting Information as part of the OD/IC Project while under redevelopment to a Mandatory Policy.

Retitle of OD 0399/12 to Infection Prevention and Control of CRE and relocation from Mandatory Requirements to Supporting Information as part of the OD/IC Project while under redevelopment to a Mandatory Policy.

Retitle of OD 0478/13 to Infection Prevention and Control of MRSA and relocation from Mandatory Requirements to Supporting Information as part of the OD/IC Project while under redevelopment to a Mandatory Policy.

Retitle of IC 0170/13 to Training Requirements for Hospital Response Teams and Emergency Management Personnel as part of the OD/IC Project while under redevelopment to a Mandatory Policy.

Retitle of OD 0646/16 to Infection Prevention and Control of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci and relocation from Mandatory Requirements to Supporting Information.

46 30 June 2021
30 June 2021
Rescindment of OD 0355/11, OD 0077/07, OD 0553/14, OD 0554/14 and OD 0632/15.
45 11 June 2021
30 June 2021
New MP 0163/21 Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program Policy.

Rescindments of OD 0610/15, OD 0404/12 and OD 0641/15.


44 3 June 2021
11 June 2021
Rescindment of OD 0296/10, OD 0465/13 and OD 0490/14.
43 31 May 2021
3 June 2021
Major Amendment to MP 0139/20 Medicines Handling Policy.
42 17 March 2021
31 May 2021
Rescindment of OD 0369/12 andOD 0660/16.
41 22 February 2021
17 March 2021
Rescindment of IC 0136/13.
40 18 February 2021 
22 February 2021

Rescindment of IC 0142/13, OD 0645/16 and OD 0651/16.

New MP 0153/21 COVID 19 Vaccination Program Policy.

39 16 February 2021
18 February 2021 
Rescindment of OD 0453/13.
38 5 February 2021
16 February 2021
Amend MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy.
37 1 February 2021
5 February 2021
New MP 0142/20 Healthy Options WA Food and Nutrition Policy to supersede OD 0627/15.
36 1 December 2020
1 February 2021
Rescinded OD 0600/15.

New MP 0139/20 Medicines Handling Policy supersedes MP 0039/16 Cannabis-based Products for Medicinal Use, OD 0142/08, OD 0141/08, OD 0598/15, OD 0492/14, OD 0529/14 and OD 0528/14.

35 27 November 2020
1 December 2020
Rescinded OD 0415/13.
34 30 September 2020
27 November 2020
New MP 0142/20 Healthy Options WA Food and Nutrition Policy published in advance of 1 February 2021 implementation date. 
33  24 August 2020
30 September 2020
Major Amendment to MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy.
32 15 July 2020
24 August 2020
New MP 0139/20 Medicines Handling Policy published in advance of 1 December 2020 implementation date. Notification included within the following policies to indicate the upcoming publication of MP 0139/20:
  • MP 0039/16 Cannabis-based Products for Medicinal Use 
  • OD 0142/08 
  • OD 0141/08 
  • OD 0598/15 
  • OD 0492/14  
  • OD 0529/14 
  • OD 0528/14
31 8 July 2020
15 July 2020
Major Amendment to MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy.
30 11 June 2020 
8 July 2020
New MP 0137/20 Managing HIV Transmission Risk Behaviours Policy. 
29 8 June 2020
11 June 2020 
Minor amendment to Public Health Policy Framework to fix hyperlinks for Westplan Human Epidemic to State Hazard Plan – Human Biosecurity, Westplan Heatwave to State Hazard Plan – Heatwave and The Australian Immunisation Handbook.
28 14 May 2020 
8 June 2020
Major Amendment to MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy.
27 7 May 2020
14 May 2020 
Rescinded OD 0394/12. 
26 24 April 2020 
7 May 2020
Major Amendment to MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy.
25 9 April 2020
24 April 2020 
New MP 0133/20 Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy.
24 30 March 2020
9 April 2020
New MP 0132/20 Staff Member Influenza Vaccination Program Policy, Supersedes all sections of the OD 0038/12 which relate to influenza and annual influenza vaccination programs, remainder of OD 0038/12 remains current. 
23 28 January 2020
30 March 2020
New MP 0129/20 Release of Human Tissue and Explanted Medical Devices Policy, Supersedes OD 0398/12.
22 8 October 2019
28 January 2020
Rescinded OD 0576/14 and IC 0151/13.
21 4 September 2019
8 October 2019
Rescinded OD 0237/09.
20 4 September 2019
4 September 2019
Rescinded OD 0642/16.
19 3 September 2019
4 September 2019
New MP 0120/19 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Policy. Supersedes OD 0456/13.
18 15 August 2019
3 September 2019
Rescinded OD 0229/09.
17 11 July 2019 
15 August 2019
Rescinded OD 0395/12 and OD 0392/12. 
16 10 June 2019 
11 July 2019 
New MP 0108/19 Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance in Western Australia Policy; supersedes OD 0527/14.
15 27 May 2019
10 June 2019 
Business continuity management is a component of risk management that addresses disruption related risks. Accordingly, the Business Continuity Management OD 0595/15 is now relocated from the Public Health Policy Framework to the Risk, Compliance and Audit Policy Framework
14 13 May 2019 
27 May 2019
Rescinded OD 0429/13 from Mandatory Requirements (all relevant HSPs have local infection prevention and control policies addressing hand hygiene requirements in place. In addition OD 0410/12 mandates HSPs to be assessed against and accredited to these Standards). Rescinded IC 0167/13 from Supporting Information (Due to reviews and changes in the CA-MRSA program the IC is incorrect and out of date. CA-MRSA strategies continue and are in various stages of implementation, progress and planning).
13 27 February 2019 
13 May 2019 
Rescinded OD 0462/13 from Mandatory Requirements and IC 0195/14 from Supporting Information.  
12 22 February 2019
27 February 2019 
New MP 0103/19 Reporting of Schedule 4 Restricted and Schedule 8 Medicines Discrepancies Policy, superseded OD 0377/12.
11 4 January 2019
22 February 2019
Rescinded IC 0236/15 from Supporting Information.
10 27 September 2018
4 January 2019
Rescinded OD 0625/15 from Mandatory Requirements.
9 14 February 2018
27 September 2018
Rescinded OP 1866/04 and 1867/04 from Mandatory Requirements.
8 31 January 2018
14 February 2018
Removed Western Australian Immunisation Strategy 2013- 2015 link from Supporting Information.
7 21 December 2017
31 January 2018
Updated Policy Framework Custodian in online PDF Document only. Changes were not made to Policy Framework landing page until 10 January 2018.
6 21 November 2017
21 December 2017
New MP 0073/17 Emergency Management Policy, superseded OD 0631/15, OD 0607/15, OD 0594/154, OD 0593/15 OD 0560/14, OD 0513/14, OD 0483/14, OD 0428/13, OD 0405/12, OD 0384/12, OD 0224/09, IC 0152/13 and IC 0150/13.
5 21 June 2017
21 November 2017
Rescinded OD 0555/14 and subheading 6.5 Genomics and Screening from Mandatory Requirements.
4 4 January 2017
21 June 2017
Added Roles and Responsibilities in the Control of Communicable Disease and Healthcare Associated Infections link to Supporting Information.
3 1 November 2016
4 January 2017
New MP 0039/16 Cannabis-Based Products for Medicinal Use.
2 20 October 2016
1 November 2016
New MP 0038/16 Insertion and Management of Peripheral Intravenous Cannulae in Western Australian Healthcare Facilities.
1 1 July 2016 20 October 2016 Original version

Approval

This policy framework has been approved and issued by the Director General of the Department of Health as the System Manager.

Approval byDr David Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health
Approval date01 July 2016
Date published27 September 2018
File numberF-AA-40155

Compliance

This policy framework is binding on those to whom it applies or relates. Implementation at a local level will be subject to audit.

Glossary of terms

Term Meaning
Applicability Under Section 26 of the Health Services Act 2016, policy frameworks may apply to:
  • All Health Service Providers
  • A type of public health service facility
  • A type of public health service
  • A type of staff member of a health service provider.
Health Service Provider Means a Health Service Provider established by an order made under section 32(1)(b) of the Health Services Act 2016.
Human Genomics Human Genomics is the study of human genes and the impact of their interaction with lifestyle and environment on human health. The public health role is to translate new knowledge and emerging genetic technologies and disease screening into health benefit.
WA health system Pursuant to section 19(1) of the Health Services Act 2016, means the Department of Health, Health Service Providers and to the extent that Contracted Health Entities provide health services to the State, the Contracted Health Entities.