Notifiable diseases in Tasmania - a guide for laboratories
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Laboratory notifiable diseases
Public health legislation in Tasmania changed after Parliament passed the Public Health (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2015. The HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993 (HIV Act) no longer exists, consequential changes occurred to the Corrections Act 1997, and parts of the Public Health Act 1997 changed. Consequently, there were revised Guidelines for Notifying Diseases and Food Contaminants, which have been in effect from 18 January 2016.
The Public Health Act requires that certain medical conditions be notified to the Director of Public Health (DPH). This includes diseases and conditions which should be notified to the Communicable Disease Prevention Unit (CDPU) by laboratories.
Laboratories are required to notify a positive result for the specified infectious diseases and conditions. Notification allows for public health action to manage these conditions and to control the spread of diseases.
Further changes to the Guidelines for Notifying Diseases and Food Contaminants will come into effect on 1 July 2022. Three additional diseases are to be notified by laboratories. These diseases are:
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
- Invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) disease
- Monkeypox virus infection
The Guidelines for Notifying Diseases and Food Contaminants have requirements for the reports that are issued for notifiable diseases.
These include clear specifications around the content of information detailed on the notification report. Notification reports are to:
- Provide the contact information for the medical practitioner who requested the initial test.
- Contain information about the laboratory who conducted the test if this has not been previously notified to the DPH.
- Contain specific details in relation to the disease report
- authorisation date of the laboratory report
- the date the specimen was collected
- the method of diagnosis.
The Guidelines for Notifying Diseases and Food Contaminants can be found on our Public Health Act and associated guidelines page.
The repeal of The HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993 (HIV Act) meant that the separate confidentiality framework around the collection, recording, storing and security of information in respect of HIV tests and related medical assessments was no longer required. HIV information is be treated with the same degree of security and confidentiality as all other health information relating to a person.