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Italy: Vaccinations for Children Made Mandatory

(June 13, 2017) On May 19, 2017, the Italian Parliament approved the Decree-Law Containing Urgent Measures on the Compulsory Vaccination of Children, which makes vaccinations mandatory for children as a condition of school registration. (Italy Makes Childhood Vaccinations Compulsory, FRANCE24 (May 19, 2007); Decree-Law No. 73 of June 7, 2017, Urgent Provisions on Vaccine Prevention, GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (June 7, 2017), […]

Philippines: Executive Order Prohibits Smoking in Enclosed and Public Places

(June 9, 2017) In May 2017, the President of the Philippines signed an executive order (EO) establishing that enclosed spaces and public places must be smoke-free. (EO No. 26 Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Spaces (May 16, 2017), Philippine Official Gazette website.) “Enclosed” spaces for purposes of the directive […]

Liberia: Mental Health Bill Advances

(June 6, 2017) On May 23, 2017, the Liberian House of Representatives, the lower house of the country’s Parliament, unanimously approved a proposed amendment to the Public Health Law that would add a chapter on mental health.  (Leroy M Sonpon III, House Passes Law to Protect Persons with ‘Mental Disorders,’ DAILY OBSERVER (May 25, 2017).)  This follows the […]

Germany: Constitutional Right to Reimbursement for Uncovered Health Care Services Only Exists in Emergencies

(May 17, 2017) On May 11, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to accept a case for review that challenged a lower court’s decision not to obligate the applicant’s statutory health insurance to pay for intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (antibody infusions) not covered under her plan, to treat her autoimmune disease. (BVerfG, 1 BvR 452/17, […]

India: Law Bans Discrimination Against AIDS Patients

(Apr. 27, 2017) On April 24, 2017, Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, approved new legislation that bans discrimination against people who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS. (Jonathan Niznansky, India President Approves Law Banning Discrimination Against AIDS Patients, PAPER CHASE (Apr. 25, 2017).) The law was formally introduced in 2014 as the Human Immunodeficiency […]

New Zealand: Government and Care Workers Reach Pay Equity Settlement

(Apr. 21, 2017) On April 18, 2017, the New Zealand government announced that a settlement had been reached with workers in the government-funded service sectors of aged and disability residential care and home and community support services that will result in pay increases of between 15 and 50% for those workers. (Press Release, Jonathan Coleman, $2 Billion Pay […]

Australia: Northern Territory Parliament Passes Bill to Decriminalize Abortion, Improve Access

(Mar. 28, 2017) On March 21, 2017, Australia’s Northern Territory Parliament voted to pass the Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Bill 2017 (NT) (Northern Territory Legislation website). The Bill amends part VI, division 8, of the Criminal Code Act (NT), which currently criminalizes the administration of a drug or use of an instrument with the intention of […]

Indonesia: Proposed Legislation on Tobacco Could Increase Domestic Production

(Mar. 24, 2017) The House of Representatives of Indonesia is considering a proposed law that could increase the country’s tobacco output. (Eveline Danubrata & Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Indonesia Tobacco Bill Would Fire up Output Despite Health Fears, REUTERS (Mar. 15, 2017).) The bill is listed among “priority legislation” on the legislative website. (RRU Tentang […]

Taiwan: Amendment of Long-Term Care Act

(Mar. 23, 2017) Taiwan’s Long-Term Care Services Act, which was promulgated on June 3, 2015, but is not slated to become law until June 2017, was amended effective January 28, 2017. (Long-Term Care Services Law: Amendment of Long-term Care Services Law Revises Articles 15, 22, 62 and 66, THE GAZETTE OF THE OFFICE OF THE […]

Germany: Medical Marijuana Act Enters into Force

(Mar. 13, 2017) On March 10, 2017, an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Act entered into force in Germany that allows doctors to prescribe cannabis to seriously ill patients even if other treatment options are available.  No additional special permit will be required.  The costs of the treatment will be covered by the patient’s health […]