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Policy framework statement

The Legal Policy Framework specifies the requirements that all Health Service Providers (HSPs) must comply with in order to ensure an effective and consistent legal approach across the WA health system.


The Director General (DG) of the Department of Health is the System Manager responsible for the overall management, strategic direction and stewardship of the WA health system. The DG will use policy frameworks to ensure a consistent approach to a range of matters undertaken by HSPs. Policy frameworks must be complied with and implemented as a part of ongoing operations.

The purpose of this policy framework is to ensure:

  • a systemwide approach to the provision of legal advice concerning the WA health system
  • consistency of legal advice across the WA health system
  • awareness of the availability of legal advice and how to obtain it
  • provision of high quality legal advice and support across the WA health system
  • effective and timely access to legal advice and support for HSP and staff
  • minimisation of HSPs exposure to legal risk
  • compliance with the WA Government’s legislative and policy requirements. 


This policy framework is binding on each HSP to which it applies or relates.


The key principles that underpin this policy framework are:

Ensure a consistent systemwide approach to legal interpretation, advice, practice and protocols.

Risk Management
Reducing the exposure to risk by setting out clear process and procedures to obtain timely and quality legal advice.

Facilitating the delivery of cost effective legal advice within the accepted practice for government agencies seeking legal advice.

Legislative context

The Health Services Act 2016 refers to policy frameworks in ss. 26-27, 34(2)(c), 32, 34, 41(7), 41(8), 237 and s. 238.
The legislation below, may also apply:

  • Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cwth)
  • Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 (WA)

Mandatory requirements

Under this policy framework HSPs must comply with all mandatory requirements* including:

*Any mandatory requirement document that references the Hospitals and Health Act 1927 must be interpreted as a requirement under the Health Services Act 2016.

Supporting information

Policy framework custodian

Assistant Director General
Strategy and Governance 

Enquiries relating to this policy framework may be directed to:


This policy framework will be reviewed as required to ensure relevance and recency. At a minimum this policy framework will be reviewed within two years after first issue and at least every three years thereafter.

Version Effective from Effective to Amendment(s)
1 1 July 2016 22 February 2018 Original version
2 22 February 2018 03 April 2020 Major Amendment to MP0019/16
3 03 April 2020  07 April 2020 Rescinded OP1850/04 Non-Salaried Medical Practitioners: Protocol for Notifying and Managing Medical Treatment Liability Claims/Potential Claims (Non-Teaching Hospitals)
4 07 April 2020 18 February 2021 Rescinded OD0366/12 Statutory Delegations - Delegation of Powers and Duties Pursuant to Legislation 
5 18 February 2021 12 August 2021

Amendment to MP 0026/16 Student Clinical Placement Agreement Policy to include Related document Student Clinical Placement Agreement template and transition the Policy from the Legal Policy Framework to the Clinical Teaching and Training Policy Framework.

Rescindment of IC 0008/07 Coroners Act 1996 and OP 2074/06 Protocol Applying to Medical Practitioners Participating in the ASI and/or PRNI.

6 12 August 2021 Current Major Amendment to MP 0023/16 Obtaining Legal Advice Policy - Policy transitioned to the current Policy template.  As a full Policy review was undertaken, a new review cycle will now commence.


This policy framework has been approved and issued by the Director General of the Department of Health as the System Manager.

Approval byDr D J Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health
Approval date01 July 2016
Date published22 February 2018
File numberF-AA-40362


This policy framework is binding on those to whom it applies or relates. Implementation at a local level will be subject to audit.

Glossary of terms

Term Meaning
Applicability Under Section 26 of the Health Services Act 2016, policy frameworks may apply to:
  • All Health Service Providers
  • A type of public health service facility
  • A type of public health service
  • A type of staff member of a health service provider.
Health Service Provider Means a Health Service Provider established by an order made under section 32(1)(b) of the Health Services Act 2016.
WA health system Pursuant to section 19(1) of the Health Services Act 2016, means the Department of Health, Health Service Providers and to the extent that Contracted Health Entities provide health services to the State, the Contracted Health Entities.