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Italy: Plan to Control Boat Traffic in Venice

(Aug. 29, 2013) On August 27, 2013, the city of Venice announced a plan to better control boat traffic in the city’s canals. Citing the need to increase safety following the August 17 death of a German tourist in a boating accident, city officials stated that several measures would be taken to control the traffic. […]

ASEAN; Indonesia: Indonesia Urged to Ratify Smog Treaty

(July 8, 2013) On June 30, 2013, the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) urged Indonesia to ratify a treaty designed to limit smog pollution across borders, the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. The statement was part of a joint communiqué from a meeting of the foreign ministers of the […]

Denmark: Doctors Concerned About Data Sharing

(June 28, 2013) Denmark is in the midst of a debate on a revision of its health care law, and doctors in general practice are concerned about the proposed changes to how they work. In particular, some doctors have expressed concern that under the law now being considered, they will have to submit more patient […]

Israel: Heavy Penalty for Violation of Smoking Ban in Public Places

(June 17, 2013) On May 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Israel approved a plea bargain that included an unprecedented high amount of compensation in a class-action suit for violation of the prohibition on smoking in public places, in accordance with the Prevention of Smoking and Exposure to Smoking Law (5743-1983) (hereinafter Anti-Smoking Law). (CA […]

Denmark: Government Plans Health Care Reforms

(May 13, 2013) According to a May 2, 2013, press release from <?Denmark's Minister of Health and Prevention, Astrid Krag, the government is planning an overhaul of the country's health care system. (Press Release, Regeringen Udstikker Ny Kurs På Sundhedsområdet [Government Sets a New Course for the Health Section] (May 2, 2013), Ministry of Health […]

Germany: Patients’ Rights

(Apr. 23, 2013) On February 25, 2013, Germany promulgated an Act Improving the Rights of Patients [hereinafter Patients’ Rights Act]. (Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Rechte von Patientinnen und Patienten,Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl] I at 277.) The Act creates the “treatment contract,” a special contract that by law now governs every relationship between a person administering medical treatment […]

China: Mental Health Law Takes Effect on May 1

(Apr. 19, 2013) On May 1, 2013, China’s first Mental Health Law will enter into effect. The National Health and Family Planning Commission, a State Council commission created in March through the merger of the former Ministry of Health with the National Family Planning Commission, issued the key points and explanations of the Law to […]

Japan: New Flu Special Measures Act Moved Up

(Apr. 15, 2013) Japan’s Special Measures Act to Counter New Types of Influenza was promulgated last year, on May 11, 2012 (Act No. 31 of 2012). The effective date was required to be within one year from the promulgation date. (Id., Attached Provisions, art. 1.) Usually, in such cases, the effective date would be set […]

Australia; New Zealand: New Food Labeling Standard Requires Manufacturers to Prove Health Claims

(Apr. 11, 2013) On April 7, 2013, New Zealand’s Minister of Food Safety, Nikki Kaye, announced that she had signed into law a standard that will require food manufacturers to provide scientific evidence to support all health and nutrition claims made in relation to their products. (Press Release, Hon. Nikki Kaye, New Food Health Labelling […]

Japan: Three Vaccinations Added to Routine Vaccination Schedules

(Apr. 9, 2013) The recent amendment to <?Japan's Vaccination Law added haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), human papilloma virus (HPV), and pediatric streptococcus pneumoniae to the routine vaccination schedule. (Act No. 8 of 2013 (Mar. 30, 2013), amending the Vaccination Law, Act No. 69 of 1976.) The Law obligates municipalities to provide specified age groups […]