Departmental Media Releases

Links to the most recent Departmental media releases.

Page last updated: 13 December 2013

Date: 19/09/2018
Title: Urgent Food Advice

On 18 September 2018, a needle was found in a banana at an aged care service in NSW. The aged care facility immediately contacted police and advised the Department of Health.

Date: 26/05/2018
Title: Additional 800,000 Influenza Vaccines

An additional 800,000 influenza vaccines secured for the National Immunisation Program

Date: 26/05/2018
Title: Transcript - Dr Anthony Hobbs


Date: 20/05/2018
Title: Availability of flu vaccine

It is positive that people have heard the message and are taking action to get vaccinated against influenza. Record numbers of seasonal influenza vaccines have been brought into the country this year.

Date: 07/05/2018
Title: Expert Health Panel's Independent PFAS Advice

An independent expert health panel established by the Australian Government has concluded there is mostly limited, or in some cases no evidence, that human exposure to PFAS is linked with human disease.

Date: 17/04/2018
Title: Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea

Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea have been recently detected in Australia. One case was diagnosed in Western Australia and a second case diagnosed in Queensland.

Date: 29/03/2018
Title: Information Commissioner’s Report

The Department of Health welcomes the Information Commissioner’s final report following his investigation into the department’s release of a sample of data from the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Date: 14/03/2018
Title: RAAF Base Tindal PFAS Blood Testing to Start This Week

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, has announced that a Voluntary Blood Testing Program for people impacted by PFAS contamination from RAAF Base Tindal in Katherine will begin on Saturday 17 March.

Date: 12/01/2018
Title: Low dose codeine ineffective for most pain relief

The best medical advice and research shows that codeine is no better for pain than other over the counter medicines, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said today.

Date: 30/11/2017
Title: TGA undertakes regulatory actions after review into urogynaecological surgical mesh implants.

Australia’s medicine and medical devices regulator, the TGA, has decided to remove a number of mesh products whose sole use is the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse via transvaginal implantation from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

Date: 01/11/2017
Title: Expert Health Panel for Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

An Expert Health Panel has been established to advise the Australian Government on the potential health impacts associated with Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) exposure and to identify priority areas for further research.

Date: 30/10/2017
Title: Media Statement - Flu Vaccines

Media statement from Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy regarding media claims about flu vaccines.

Date: 01/08/2017
Title: Have Your Say on Health Star Rating System

The public and stakeholders now have an additional two weeks to provide input on the national Health Star Rating (HSR) system, as public consultation is extended until 17 August.

Date: 31/07/2017
Title: TGA is Consulting on Changes to Surgical Mesh Devices Regulation

Following a decision by the European Commission to implement a number of medical device reforms, including to up-classify all surgical mesh medical devices to Class III and to provide patient implant cards and consumer product information for all implantable medical devices, the TGA is looking at undertaking the same measures.

Date: 17/07/2017
Title: Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology Joint Communique

All Australian Governments have agreed to initiate the third review of the National Scheme for the Regulation of Gene Technology (the Review). The Review will be led by a working group comprised of senior officials from Commonwealth and state and territory governments, supported by a panel of independent experts.

Date: 11/07/2017
Title: Consumer Level Recall of insulin cartridge

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S, in consultation with the TGA, has initiated a consumer level recall of some batches of their NovoPen Echo insulin cartridge holder after detecting there is a possibility they may crack or break if exposed to chemicals in certain cleaning agents.

Date: 10/07/2017
Title: TGA to improve the handling of advertising complaints

Australia’s therapeutic goods regulator is implementing new arrangements to simplify and improve the handling of complaints about the advertising of medicines and medical devices to the public.

Date: 27/06/2017
Title: Infectious diseases – a global challenge

Rapid sharing of information and a shared response culture to national health emergencies is as important as the medical response.

Date: 07/06/2017
Title: A Better MBS for all Australians

The clinician-led Taskforce that is reviewing more than 5,700 items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to see if they are up-to-date, has released its third round of recommendations for public consultation.

Date: 05/05/2017
Title: Communique: Darwin Roundtable – Suicide Prevention

A high-level Roundtable discussion, held on May 3 on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide in Darwin, Northern Territory, chaired by Federal Minister for Indigenous Health and Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, emphasised the need for local, Indigenous controlled responses to the escalating rates of suicide in the community.

Date: 03/04/2017
Title: Australian guidance values for assessing exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

The outcomes of a review by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Perfluorinated Chemicals in Food, to determine the recommended tolerable daily intake values (TDI) for people potentially exposed to the contaminants collectively known as perfluoroalkyated (PFAS) substances, was released by the Australian Government on 3 April 2017.

Date: 21/03/2017
Title: Consumer involvement in their own healthcare – key to a sustainable national health system

The Secretary of the Federal Department of Health, Martin Bowles has recognised the importance of consumer involvement in health and aged care will significantly deliver a better and more sustainable Australian health system.

Date: 06/03/2017
Title: RFI – Seeking advice on new IT payments system

The Australian Government is seeking to replace IT systems supporting health and aged care and related veterans’ payments.

Date: 27/02/2017
Title: Pathology providers guarantee to continue to provide Pap Tests for Australian women

The Federal Department of Health has reached agreement with representatives of the Australian Pathology providers which will ensure that women will be able to continue to access the current Pap Test to screen for cervical cancer until a new testing program begins on December 1 2017.

Date: 23/02/2017
Title: National Cancer Screening Register - Statement by Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy

Due to the complexity of assimilating and migrating data from eight state and territory cancer registers into one register, the start date for Australia’s first National Cancer Screening Register has been delayed.

Date: 14/10/2016
Title: Kimberley Roundtable – Suicide Prevention

A high-level Roundtable discussion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide in the Western Australian Kimberley region, emphasised the need for local, Indigenous controlled responses to the escalating rates of suicide in the community.

Date: 29/09/2016
Title: Data update

Researchers relying on information in a sample of data extracted from Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits and Medicare Benefits schemes that was withdrawn recently from the website are advised that work is continuing to restore the dataset as soon as possible.

Date: 09/09/2016
Title: Review should allay fears on PFAS contamination standards

Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Hobbs, today welcomed the findings of an independent evaluation of standards for water contamination by per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).

Date: 13/07/2016
Title: Retirement of Chief Medical Officer

The Secretary of the federal Department of Health, Martin Bowles, has announced that Professor Chris Baggoley will retire as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) on July 15.

Date: 26/05/2016
Title: National Cancer Screening Register

Following a competitive tender process that commenced on 10 August last year, the Federal Department of Health has appointed Telstra Health to develop and operate the new National Cancer Screening Register.

Date: 11/03/2016
Title: Health Secretary outlines the challenges of health reform to Committee for Economic Development of Australia

The broad reform agenda that the Australian Government is embarking on in health is being enthusiastically embraced by the Federal Department of Health as it moves to better deliver strategic policy advice and action.

Date: 20/11/2015
Title: Release of Final Report of Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation

The second, and final, report from the Independent Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation has been released.

Date: 28/08/2015
Title: Pregnancy folate reminder

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, has written to networks representing GPs and obstetricians alerting them to a global shortage of folic acid for food fortification that may affect Australia.

Date: 01/04/2015
Title: Appointment of new ICT provider for Health

The Department has signed a five-year deal with Datacom to provide ICT infrastructure and support services.

Date: 13/03/2015
Title: Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)

The PBAC agenda for March includes many important new drugs.

Date: 26/02/2015
Title: Hepatitis A linked to frozen berries

Media statement from the Chief Medical Officer regarding Hepatitis A linked to frozen berries.

Date: 30/01/2015
Title: Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation - Final Communique

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) has met in Auckland.

Date: 17/10/2014
Title: Ebola Health Protection Update

Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, said that he was confident that State and Territory health authorities have well developed systems in place to protect the community if a case of Ebola is found in Australia.

Date: 10/10/2014
Title: COAG Health Council Communique

The Australian and state and territory health ministers met in Melbourne to discuss a range of national health issues.

Date: 19/09/2014
Title: Statement from the Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on eculizumab (Soliris®)

Statement from the Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Associate Professor Suzanne Hill on eculizumab (Soliris®)

Date: 22/07/2014
Title: Australia Acts on Rising New HIV Infections

While Australia has made great progress in addressing HIV over the last three decades there are still an estimated 26 800 people living with HIV infection.

Date: 27/06/2014
Title: Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation - Final Communique

The Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation has met in Sydney.

Date: 13/03/2014
Title: Malaria experts call for redoubled efforts on drug resistance

Some of the world's foremost malaria experts have warned that failure to act on the growing resistance to the first line drug for malaria, artemisinin, will set back efforts to reduce and eliminate malaria in the Asia Pacific region.

Date: 13/12/2013
Title: Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation - Final Communique

The Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation has met in Melbourne.

Date: 06/06/2013
Title: Professor Jane Halton elected Chair of the Executive Board The World Health Assembly

The Executive Board of the World Health Assembly has elected Professor Jane Halton as its Chair.

Date: 28/04/2013
Title: Public Servants to mark their contribution to Canberra

Whether it is with a fun run, an online picture gallery, an art exhibition or just a mass get together in a park, the Australian Public Service is planning an event to mark its considerable contribution to the shaping of Canberra during this year's Centenary of Canberra celebrations.

Date: 07/12/2012
Title: Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation - Communique - 7 December 2012

Australian and New Zealand ministers responsible for the regulation of food have met to consider a range of issues including a revised health claims standard and progress on the interpretive front-of-pack labelling system.

Date: 02/05/2012
Title: Prominent Scientist and Regulator appointed new Head of TGA

Dr John Skerritt has been appointed the new national manager of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including medicines, medical devices, blood and blood products.

Date: 09/12/2011
Title: Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation - Communique

Australian and New Zealand ministers responsible for the regulation of food and beverages met in Melbourne to consider their response to the recommendations in the Food Labelling Review Report, Labelling Logic.

Date: 30/08/2011
Title: Australia's New Chief Medical Officer Announced

Professor Chris Baggoley has been appointed Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, beginning immediately. Professor Baggoley is a respected clinician and public health specialist with a national and international reputation in the field of emergency medicine.

Date: 20/06/2011
Title: Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency (ANZTPA)

On 20 June 2011, the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers announced their agreement to proceed with a joint scheme for the regulation of therapeutic products across both countries.

Date: 30/07/2010
Title: Seasonal flu vaccination for young children can be resumed - Updated advice from the Chief Medical Officer

Continued close monitoring of side effects with this year's seasonal flu vaccine in children under five years of age has shown that the higher than usual occurrence of fever and febrile convulsions appears to be confined to the vaccine Fluvax, manufactured by CSL so parents can now seek advice from their doctor to use other brands on the market if they want their young children vaccinated.

Date: 01/06/2010
Title: Seasonal Flu Vaccine Remains Suspended for young children without risk factors - Advice from the Chief Medical Officer

After consideration of the results to date of a comprehensive investigation into the safety of the seasonal flu vaccine for young children, I have advised, that as a precaution, the suspension of seasonal flu vaccination should continue for healthy children under five years of age.

Date: 30/04/2010
Title: Health authorities continue to put seasonal flu vaccine on hold for young children

A week long national evaluation of cases of fever with convulsions in young children following a seasonal flu vaccination has so far found no pattern of increased incidence of this side effect, other than higher numbers in WA.

Date: 23/04/2010
Title: Seasonal Flu Vaccine and young children

Due to a spike in the numbers of young children in Western Australia experiencing fever and convulsions following seasonal flu vaccinations, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jim Bishop, is advising all GPs and immunisation providers to stop giving seasonal flu vaccine to children five years and under until a cause is established.

Date: 10/03/2010
Title: Government on Track to Close the Gap on Infant Mortality

The National Indigenous Health Equality Council (NIHEC) has completed two reports: the Child Mortality Targets: Recommendations and Analysis and National Target Setting Instrument.

Date: 10/03/2010
Title: On Target to Halve the Gap in Indigenous Child Mortality

A report card on Indigenous child health shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child mortality rates have been improving, particularly for infant mortality.

Date: 11/05/2009
Title: Self-Test Bowel Cancer Kits – Important Notice for Users

The Department of Health and Ageing will start contacting participants in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program from this week to invite people to re-take the test, after quality issues were identified during an investigation of the test kits.

Date: 08/05/2009
Title: Design of New National Registration and Accreditation Scheme

The Ministerial Council has reached a national consensus on how the new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions will work.

Date: 01/01/2009
Title: PBS listing to help prevent invasive fungal infections

Thousands of patients suffering from invasive fungal infections will benefit from a new listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 January 2009.

Date: 07/07/2008
Title: Preventative Health Taskforce - Media Release

The National Preventative Health Taskforce will release a discussion paper this September on the Australian Government’s blueprint for refocussing the health system on prevention.

Date: 22/06/2008
Title: New Commonwealth Chief Nurse Appointed

The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing has appointed Ms Rosemary Bryant as the first Commonwealth Chief Nurse in preconisation of the major role played by the nursing profession in the delivery of effective health care in Australia.

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