With significant advances in medical technology, coupled with a growing population and better life expectancy, Heath care, Aged care and Lifesciences in Australia is strong, with growth expected to continue.

With this comes a raft of legal issues: acquisition and development of the right sites, financing arrangements and capital raising, acquisitions of existing facilities, drafting effective commercial agreements and taking the right approach to tax for your organisation.

In particular, people are at the centre of the health and community sector – whether they are the senior citizens, the sick or the vulnerable, or the staff and carers who help keep the sector running. For management, it is vital that employment and industrial relations issues are dealt with in a way that recognises the nuances of the sector and balances the needs of all concerned.

Hall & Wilcox is a trusted advisor to health and aged care providers, medical practitioners, health associations, health insurers, research organisations, clinics and hospitals, both for-profit and not-for-profit.

Employment and workplace relations

employment contracts, awards, enterprise agreements, anti-discrimination and equal opportunity policies and issues, termination disputes, transfer of business issues, management of performance and misconduct issues, restructuring strategies and the implementation of workplace change, industrial relations litigation and immigration.

Property and projects

preparing documents for retirement village developments, sales, purchases, acquisitions and subdivisions and preparing and negotiating agreements.

Corporate and commercial

mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory and board advice, compliance with the Corporations Act and capital raising.

Banking and finance

acting for lenders and borrowers in syndicated loan agreements and preparing operating and equipment lease finance transactions.

Tax

fringe benefits, payroll tax, PAYG and WorkCover issues, corporate restructures, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, indirect tax such as GST and planning and property taxes such as land tax.

Privacy

privacy policies and compliance documents, management and employee training programs, privacy breach complaints and access to information requests, preparing submissions and responses to the Australian Information Commissioner (AIC) and advice on compliance with changes to privacy laws.

Medical defence

Acting for health care providers and health professions Australia wide in a broad range of professional indemnity, public liability, product liability and disciplinary claims. We are a trusted advisor to our loyal client base. Our work extends from claims management to policy development and risk assessments.

Regulatory
  • Advising on the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) and associated regulations including the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code in relation to the registration/listing, manufacture, supply, marketing, distribution and labelling of therapeutic goods.
  • Advising on the  Private Health Insurance Act 2007 (Cth) and the Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2015 (Cth) and associated regulations and rules, including advising on reimbursement for therapeutic goods including prosthetics;
  • Advising on reimbursement including on the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) – including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Medicare audits and prohibited diagnostic imaging and pathology practices;
  • Legislation regulating private and public hospitals.
  • Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Codes of Practice.
  • Advising on international product recalls of therapeutic goods.
Commercial litigation

Hall & Wilcox currently acts for over 16 approved Aged Care providers in relation to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Other services

We can also advise on issues around intellectual property, technology, insurance, disputes and debt recovery.

Health law seminar series

Hall & Wilcox, the Australasian College of Health Service Management and the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association recently brought together experts from across the health and community sector for a seminar discussing the important issue of protecting the vulnerable in health, aged care, disability and community.

Health and community team leader Alison Choy Flannigan spoke with Dr Bronwyn Morkam, National Director of Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance, Katrina Ong, Consultant – Quality and Compliance at Pride Living and Lence Markovska, Acting General Manager – Aged and Primary Care, Merri Health, about these challenges.

Elder abuse prevention

In the first of our three-part series, Lence Markovska talks about the elder abuse prevention program her organisation is involved in. Watch below.

  • Acting for Regis Group Aged Care and AMP Aged Care in relation to the development and refurbishment of numerous low- and high-level aged care centres Australia-wide.
  • Advising Regis Aged Care on a number of employment-related matters, including:
    • application of the Aged Care Award 2010 and the Nurses Award 2010, defending unfair dismissal applications and managing ill and injured workers in various jurisdictions;
    • transfer of business issues relating to the outsourcing of a cleaning business and on the internal restructure of the corporate group;
    • protected action ballots, workplace determinations, right of entry and various industrial issues involving the ANF, HSU and United Voice;
    • implementation of enterprise agreements throughout Australia for more than 5,000 employees, including providing strategic advice on bargaining and related industrial issues;
    • a successful transfer of business application under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in relation to the acquisition of a facility in Western Australia; and
    • health and safety obligations owed by an aged care provider to its residents, and obligations to notify the safety regulator of incidents involving residents.
  • Acting for Healthscope Limited, and its subsidiary Gribbles Pathology, on a $250 million-plus refurbishment of eight existing hospital sites, including Knox Private, Allamanda Private Hospital (Qld) and Hobart Private Hospital (Tas).
  • Acting for the Austin Hospital, Epworth Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital in relation to hospital upgrades, including the supply and installation of CT scanning and MRI equipment.
  • Acting for the Australian Red Cross in relation to the development of the Victorian and Tasmanian Principal site.
  • Advising Australian Unity on a range of property, planning and construction matters in respect of commercial and retail property developments throughout Australia.
  • Acting for Horizon Health in relation to the relocation of Monash IVF.
  • Acting for Cytopia Limited (a biotech company that was formerly ASX listed), in relation to its proposal (pursuant to a requisition by 5% of the company’s members) to remove all of the directors of Progen Pharmaceuticals Limited and appoint three new directors.
  • Acting for Mylan Inc. on the Australian aspects of its USD $6.7 billion acquisition of Merck KGaA’s global generic pharmaceuticals business.
  • Acting for Affinity Health on several operating lease finance transactions for large items of health care equipment.
  • Conducting privacy compliance training for the national sales team and head office at UCB Pharma.
  • Preparing and implementing a collective agreement, drafting employment contracts and advising on dismissals generally for a large pharmaceutical wholesale.
  • Acting for the Australian Stem Cell Centre on a number of matters, including:
    • defending claims for discrimination and termination;
    • transmission of business advice on transferring employees to other institutions; and
    • providing Freedom of Information and privacy advice.
  • Acting for Prince Henry’s Institute on a number of matters, including:
    • drafting and implementing a certified agreement, including representing the institute in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission; and
    • providing day-to-day employment advice, including advising on termination of employment and redundancies issues and an employee bullying claim.
  • Providing strategic advice to an aged care provider on the management of a near-miss safety incident, and advising on dismissing injured employees in various States, including the application of workers compensation legislation in each State.
  • Providing immigration advice and obtaining visas for health services industry clients such as Cytopia and Medibank Private Health Insurance.
  • Advising aged care sector employers on various issues, including the impact of the workforce compact, COPO and industry-wide trends and communications in bargaining for enterprise agreements.