New infection control measures miss the point

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1356

This month the New South Wales government will introduce new regulations for infection control in hospitals and health care settings. This seemingly unremarkable announcement has attracted much press comment, with Professor Peter McDonald, chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council's infection control working party, expressing surprise that the existing powers of the Public Health Act were apparently seen as inadequate.

McDonald's reported surprise is itself surprising, given his long involvement in the politics of AIDS control in Australia. Because New South Wales has had most cases of HIV and AIDS it has also been subject to more political fallout from HIV than elsewhere in Australia. The recent history of HIV and hepatitis C infection scares in New South Wales health care settings has compounded the community's …

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