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National Health Security Bill 2007 promotes improved health surveillance, information sharing and control of biological agents: MP

Posted by gmarkets on 8 October, 2007

The National Health Security Bill 2007 had a two-fold purpose, MP Nicola Roxon said in the Commonwealth House of Representatives on 20 September 2007.Co-operation: Firstly, the bill sought to create a legislative framework and underpinning for existing cooperative arrangements between the Commonwealth, states and territories for public health surveillance and information-sharing in relation to public health events of national significance, Roxon said. Such events included certain communicable disease outbreaks, certain releases of a chemical, biological or radiological agent, other public health risks, or overseas mass casualties. The provisions also gave effect to Australia’s treaty commitments under the International Health Regulations in relation to those matters and provided for the sharing of information with the World Health Organisation and other countries affected by an event relating to public health or an overseas mass casualty.

Regulating biological agents: Secondly, Roxon said, the bill also introduced, in line with COAG recommendations, a mandatory regulatory system for security-sensitive biological agents. The bill was a new stand-alone bill and reflected a government commitment in the 2004-05 federal budget to develop national health security legislation.

Reference: Nicola Roxon, Member for Gellibrand, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 20 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 7/10/2007

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