BN Health Forum: Big Ideas for Health Professionals

event information
Thursday, 19 April 2018
Forum sessions: 2pm - 5pm I Drinks and canapes: 5pm - 8pm
State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane
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    Following the final session, attendees are invited to continue the conversation over drinks and canapes on the Library’s stunning Queensland Terrace.

    If you have any questions, please get in touch with the BN Events team at

As lawyers dedicated to solving complex problems for the healthcare industry, we'd like to think we live and breathe health as much as you - just from an entirely different perspective. We are passionate about our healthcare system and are just as curious as to how this landscape is changing, and what's next.

With this in mind, we are delighted to invite you to the very first BN Health Forum: Big Ideas for Health Professionals. We've dedicated time to constructing a half-day health sector event tackling the big issues facing modern health care professionals.

Through a program of interrelated seminars, our insightful expert speakers will dive right into superbugs, the evidence base for surgery, and how the healthcare industry can protect against cyber attacks. This is a must-attend for any health care professional who wants to stay up-to-date on trends and issues affecting the sector. Each session is optional – attend all or pick and choose. But be quick, registration is free of charge and places are limited.


  • Session 1: Dissecting the evidence – the effectiveness of surgery and the effect of compensation

    Presented by Professor Ian Harris, University of New South Wales

    Surgical procedures involve considerable risks to patients and costs to the health system, but are often favoured because of the perceived benefit to the patient. However, recent research has cast doubt on the effectiveness of several commonly performed procedures when compared with conservative treatment. Can surgery be described as the ultimate placebo? Professor Harris will take an evidence based look at this issue, as well as research regarding the impact of compensation claims on recovery from injury.

  • Session 2: Modern medicine under threat? A novel approach to beating superbugs

    Presented by Dr Karl Hansford, Senior Researcher, Institute for Molecular Bioscience

    Antibiotics are essential life-saving drugs that revolutionised medicine, starting with the seminal discovery of penicillin in 1928. Despite their impact on human health, their effectiveness is under increasing threat due to antibiotic resistance. Dr Hansford will describe some of the recent global initiatives in place to tackle antibiotic resistance, and provide a chemist’s view of some of the unique challenges faced by antibiotic researchers. He will take you through some highlights of the exciting work being done by the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland.

  • Session 3: You’ve been hacked. How do healthcare providers respond to cyber risks today, and what lies ahead?  

    Presented by Robert Samut, Principal, Barry Nilsson

    The valuable information contained in medical records has put a target on healthcare providers for malicious cyber attacks. Australia is seeing an increase in attacks, which has significant implications for the security of personal and confidential information. Importantly, healthcare providers will now need to notify when a data breach has occurred. Rob Samut will talk to you about these threats, the implications of mandatory data breach reporting and the importance of having in place a specialist cyber response team.

Meet our speakers

  • Professor Ian Harris

    Ian Harris, AM, MBBS, MMed(Clin Epi), PhD, FRACS(Orth)

    Ian Harris is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UNSW. He is a practicing orthopaedic surgeon specialising in trauma surgery and lectures nationally and internationally on the orthopaedic treatment of fractures.

    Prof Harris directs a research unit specialising in surgical outcomes and the evidence base for surgery. His original research is regularly published in peer-reviewed journals, and he is the author of the book Surgery, the Ultimate Placebo in which he highlights the overestimation of effectiveness of surgery and the reasons behind this. In 2015, Prof Harris was awarded an Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to medicine, particularly in the field of orthopaedics, education and research, and to professional bodies.

  • Dr Karl Hansford

    Dr Karl Hansford, PhD, BSc(Organic Chemistry), BSc(Chemistry)

    Dr Karl Hansford is an antibiotic researcher at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB). He is an organic chemist by training, and received his PhD from the University of Queensland in 2000. He draws on 15 years’ experience in synthetic, process and medicinal chemistry from Australia, Canada and the United States. He has been actively involved in antibiotic discovery and development at the IMB since 2011.

  • Robert Samut

    Robert Samut, Principal, Barry Nilsson

    Rob Samut heads the firm’s national Health Law practice. He works with large hospital groups, insurers and large corporates in the defence of medico-legal and other claims, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings, and in providing general and risk management advice. Rob has an excellent understanding of the operations of large hospitals, including the management of public health claims, and has achieved outstanding outcomes in highly publicised matters.

    Rob has been listed in the 2015 and 2017 Doyle’s Guide as one of Queensland’s leading medical negligence lawyers and as a leading professional indemnity lawyer in 2016. Rob was recognised in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers for Insurance Law.

    He is the author of BN's HealthFiles eNewsletter and the founding partner of BN’s unique and highly regarded training arm for insurance professionals, Elevista Interactive Learning. Rob is a regular commentator on health, insurance and risk issues, and is published widely in these areas.

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