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Actions Against Tasmanian Health Organisations

The Assistant DPP (Civil) would like to inform practitioners of the following.

On the 1st of July 2015 the Tasmanian Health Organisations (Tasmanian Health Service) Order 2015 came into effect. By this the several Tasmanian Health Organisations (i.e. THO – North West, THO – North and THO – South) were merged into one organisation renamed “Tasmanian Health Service”. This is the corporate entity pursuant to s.9 of the Tasmanian Health Organisations Act 2011.

By the Order the liabilities of the three previous Health Organisations are assumed by the Tasmanian Health Service.

The effect of the foregoing, and the Tasmanian Health Organisations Act is this:

·         Prior to the 1st of July 2012, the State is on risk (liable) in relation to events occurring at public hospitals; and

·         The Tasmanian Health Service is on risk in relation to any such events occurring on or after the 1st of July 2012.

Thus, if an action for damages for personal injuries is to be instituted in respect to any mishap occurring in a public hospital, the State should be the (or a) Defendant in respect to events occurring before the 1st of July 2012 and the Tasmanian Health Service should be the (or a) Defendant in respect to events occurring since then. None of THO – North West, THO – North and THO – South should be named.

None of this makes any difference to the way in which any litigation will be conducted on behalf of the State and the Tasmanian Health Service through the Office of the DPP (Civil); nor does it make any difference to the administrative arrangements in place by which the Tasmanian Risk Management Fund is to meet any litigation liabilities of the State and the Tasmanian Health Organisation.

In existing litigation in which a Defendant is one of the previous Tasmanian Health Organisations, there will need to be, in due course, amendment to the title of the proceedings to the intent that the Tasmanian Health Service substituted. That can be done as and when is necessary in any individual action.