Health Protection and Licensing Services

What we do in Health Protection and Licensing Services

SA Health’s Health Protection and Licensing Services works to protect and promote the public health and wellbeing of all South Australians.

We achieve this through developing and administering public health legislation on behalf of the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the Department for Health and Wellbeing. We provide authoritative high-level advice on public health issues and work in partnership with Local Government, other government agencies, business, non-government organisations and the community to protect the health of South Australians.

We make an important contribution to the conditions and environments that keep people safe and healthy, enhance quality of life, and significantly reduce the need for treatment and the anguish caused by illness and injury. Importantly, in protecting and promoting public health and wellbeing, we also contribute to the economic wellbeing of South Australia.

Who we are

Health Protection and Licensing Services consists of the:

  • Clinical Regulation Branch
  • COVID-19 Management and Compliance Branch
  • Food Safety and Regulation Branch
  • Health Protection Branch
  • Scientific Services Branch
  • Office of Health Protection and Licensing Services

Clinical Regulation Branch

The Clinical Regulation Branch regulates and monitors prescribed drugs of dependence to allow patients to access appropriate treatment while minimising the potential harms associated with drug dependence, misuse, and diversion. The Branch is made up of two teams, the Clinical Regulation Policy and Licensing team (CRPL) and the Drugs of Dependence Unit (DDU).

The CRPL administers delegated provisions of Parts 6, 10 and 10A of the Health Care Act 2008 and Health Care Regulations 2008 to license:

  • private hospitals
  • private day procedure centres
  • private ambulance operators.

The CRPL also supports the ongoing operation of ScriptCheckSA, South Australia’s Real Time Prescription Monitoring system.

The Drugs of Dependence Unit administers delegated provisions of the Controlled Substances Act 1984, Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011, and the Code of Practice for the Storage and Transport of Drugs of Dependence 2012 to minimise the potential public health harms and costs associated with dependence, misuse, and diversion of prescribed drugs. On behalf of the Minister, DDU is delegated to:

  • authorise doctors to legally prescribe drugs of dependence to patients for regular use
  • monitor prescription and dispensing of monitored drugs, including through the maintenance and operation of ScriptCheckSA
  • regulate inappropriate prescription, supply, transport and storage of drugs of dependence
  • monitor and limit the supply of potentially harmful prescribed drugs to persons who have a history of consuming drugs in a risky manner, or who seek to obtain drugs by fraudulent or unlawful means, or for unlawful purposes.

COVID-19 Management and Compliance Branch

The COVID Management and Compliance Branch works to deliver, implement, manage, monitor, enforce and review effective COVID-19 assessment and management approaches.

The COVID Compliance team is responsible for monitoring COVID-19 compliance under the under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 and associated Directions put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Safety and Regulation Branch

The Food Safety and Regulation Branch protects the public from preventable health risks associated with the consumption of unsafe food. Officers in Food Safety and Regulation work together with other state/territory and bi-national government agencies, and local councils to ensure:

  • food for sale in South Australia is safe and suitable
  • consistency and integration of the bi-national food regulation system with New Zealand.

The Branch works to protect the public from preventable health risks by administering the Food Act 2001 and associated regulations and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The Branch

Health Protection Branch

The Health Protection Branch identifies, investigates and manages environmental factors that impact on public health by

  • developing public health policy, legislation, advice and programs for the management of environmentally mediated infectious disease and coordinating outbreak investigations and responses to these diseases
  • supporting the implementation and administration of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 and regulations by State and Local Government
  • undertaking public health planning and direct service delivery across the Out-of-Council Areas of South Australia (remote), including Unincorporated Areas and Aboriginal Communities
  • leading the state-wide enforcement of measures to control the supply and consumption of tobacco and e-cigarette products
  • providing direct service delivery and coordinating Aboriginal Environmental Health programs
  • develops and implements state legislation, prescribed codes, protocols, guidelines and public health policy for wastewater management, treatment, disposal and recycled water use
  • manages the public health response to wastewater and recycled water incidents.

Scientific Services Branch

The Scientific Services Branch protects and enhances public health by minimising potential environmental health risks arising in homes and the environment, including from air, water, soil, hazardous substances and from climate change. The branch undertakes scientific-based health risk assessments and data analysis to provide regulatory direction and medical, scientific and technical advice on a wide variety of exposure scenarios by

  • approving, monitoring and enforcing compliance of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011
  • managing water quality incidents
  • issuing licences, authorities and permits and undertaking compliance activities related to licences issued under the Controlled Substances Act 1984
  • seeking and undertaking appropriate and consistent regulation of chemicals
  • seeking evidence-based adaptation strategies for hazards arising from climate change
  • undertaking health risk assessments that inform state and private managers and the public on best practices to reduce exposure to various environmental hazards including, from recreational & drinking water, air pollution and chemicals
  • providing strategic and scientific sound evidence-based advice and direction for dealing with lead exposure in Port Pirie and for the general public.

Office of Health Protection and Licensing Services

The Office of Health Protection and Licensing Services provides executive leadership and management of health protection and licensing functions across the state, high level cross service expertise and operational stewardship.


General enquires

SA Health
PO Box 287 Rundle Mall Adelaide SA 5000

Phone: (08) 8226 7100
Fax: (08) 8226 7102

Clinical Regulation Branch

Drugs of Dependence Unit

Phone: 1300 652 584
Fax: 1300 658 447
Post: PO Box 6, Rundle Mall, Adelaide South Australia 5000

Clinical Regulation Policy & Licensing (formally Health Licensing Unit)

Phone: (08) 8226 7100



COVID Management and Compliance Branch

Phone: (08) 8226 7100
Email (COVID Management Plan):
Email: (COVID compliance):

Food Safety and Regulation Branch

Phone: (08) 8226 7100

Health Protection Branch

Phone: (08) 8226 7100

Health Protection Programs

Policy and advice email

Health Protection Operations

Out-of-Council areas & tobacco compliance email


Phone: (08) 8226 7100
Incident hotline: 1300 043 215


Scientific Services Branch

Phone: (08) 8226 7100

Controlled Substances Licencing

Phone: (08) 8226 7100
Fax: (08) 8226 6681

Drinking Water

Phone: (08) 8226 7100
Incident Hotline: 1300 558 657