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Tuesday, 8 August 2006
Page: 118


Ms Grierson asked the Minister for Human Services, in writing, on 6 September 2005:

(1)   Does the department or any agency in the Minister’s portfolio administer any Commonwealth funded programs for which community organisations, businesses or individuals in the electoral division of Newcastle can apply for funding; if so, what are the details.

(2)   Are the programs identified in part (1) advertised; if so, in respect of each program (a) what print and other media outlets have been used to advertise it and (b) were these paid advertisements.

(3)   In respect of each of the Commonwealth funded programs referred to in part (1), (a) what is its purpose and (b) who is responsible for allocating funds.

(4)   With respect to each of the Commonwealth funded programs referred to in part (1), how many (a) community organisations, (b) businesses and (c) individuals in the electoral division of Newcastle received funding in (i) 2003-2004 and (ii) 2004-2005.

(5)   What sum of Commonwealth funding did each recipient receive in (a) 2003-2004 and (b) 2004-2005 and what are their names and addresses.


Mr Hockey (Minister for Human Services) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The Department of Human Services was established on 26 October 2004.

Core Department

(1)   No

(2)   N/A

(3)   N/A

(4)   N/A

(5)   N/A

Child Support Agency

(1)   Yes. Newcastle Family Support Services were initially contracted (through a select tender process) to undertake a pilot to explore the best approach to align job seeker activities with building parenting and relationship skills through the Being Connected Program. The contract was for the period 17 September 2004 to 31 December 2004. This contract was subsequently extended to 30 March 2005. Dads in Distress (DiDS) also delivered several Being Connected programs in the Newcastle area in 2005 after responding to a media advertised expression of interest in August 2004. DiDS were one of six community service organisations that were invited to join in partnership with the CSA to assist in the development of an accreditation process, undertake the accreditation and once accredited pilot a face to face group program entitled Being Connected group programs for newly separated unemployed parents.

(2)   The programs identified in part (1) were not advertised through print and media outlets. Posters and fliers promoting the program were distributed directly to eligible customers by CSA through bulk mail out.

(3)   In respect of the Commonwealth funded program referred to in question (1),

(a)   the 3 aims of the Being Connected Group Programs are to;

·     help unemployed fathers stay connected with their children;

·     help unemployed fathers develop a business like relationship with the other parent; and

·     help unemployed fathers better look after themselves following separation.

(b)   The Child Support Agency is responsible for allocating funding for the Being Connected Group program under the 2003/2004 Newly Separated Unemployed Parents Budget Initiative. $11.9 million was allocated in the May 2003 Budget to support newly separated non resident parents on Newstart Allowance between July 2003 and June 2007.

  • Dads in Distress Inc - PO Box J395 Coffs Harbour Jetty NSW 2450; and
  • Newcastle Family Support Services - 558 Hunter Street Newcastle West 2302

CRS Australia

(1)   No

(2)   N/A

(3)   N/A

(4)   N/A

(5)   N/A

Centrelink

(1)   No

(2)   N/A

(3)   N/A

(4)   N/A

(5)   N/A

Medicare Australia

Medicare Australia does not collect data at the electorate level. The statistics provided are based on postcodes that appear within the electorate of Newcastle and are therefore approximate as some postcodes span more than one electorate.

(1)   i.      Home Medicines Review; ii.     Home Medicines Review Rural Loading Payment; iii.    Quality Care Pharmacy Program; iv.    Aboriginal Health Services Pharmacy Support Payment; and v.     Training Incentives for Pharmacy Assistants vi.    Broadband for Health (General Practitioners and Pharmacy programs) vii.   Special Assistance Scheme (Consumer) viii.  Practice Incentives Program (General Practice) ix.    General Practice Immunisation Incentives (General Practice)

(2)  

(a)   Information regarding programs under the Fourth Pharmacy Agreement (i to v) is primarily provided to pharmacy by Medicare Australia during the pharmacy approval process. Information is also located on the Medicare Australia website or by calling Medicare Australia. Information is also provided to pharmacy via their peak bodies (Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia), and the Department of Health and Ageing. Information regarding Broadband for Health GPs was provided through a               Department of Health and Ageing mailout in August 2004. Information for Broadband for Health (Pharmacy) was provided through a mailout in April 2005. Information for the Special Assistance Scheme (Consumer) was provided in a direct mailout of an information kit to victims and their families. Communication of the assistance schemes was directed by the other agencies such as the Department of Health and Ageing. Information regarding GP Incentive Programs (viii and ix) is available on the Medicare Australia web site, from the Department of Health and Ageing and the Divisions of General Practices.

(b)   None of these were paid advertisements.

(3) (a)   The purpose of each of these programs is as follows:

Program

Description

Home Medicines Review (HMR)

Designed to allow patients’ medication regimes to be reviewed on the request of the patient, medical practitioner or carer.

Home Medicines Review Rural Loading Payment

Designed to reimburse pharmacies in rural and remote areas of Australia (PhARIA category 2-6) for travel costs incurred when conducting home medicines reviews.

Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP)

A quality payment for achieving and maintaining QCPP accreditation that will enhance professional and business practices to ensure the delivery of quality services to the community and the government.

Aboriginal Health Services (AHS)Pharmacy Support Payment

A financial incentive for pharmacy proprietors to provide support services to Aboriginal Health Services in rural and remote locations in Australia.

Training Incentive Payment for Pharmacy Assistants (TIPA)

A financial incentive, available for a limited time, to encourage pharmacy assistants to undertake the Certificate III in Community Pharmacy

Broadband for Health (General Practioners and Pharmacy programs)

To encourage GPs, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Pharmacies to connect to broadband as it is envisaged that broadband will help streamline both clinical and business processes, maximising the use of time and allow the business to operate more efficiently

Special Assistance Scheme (Consumer)

Assistance to Australians and eligible foreign nationals requiring healthcare assistance as a direct result of an adverse event/disaster. The Special Assistance Schemes currently cover: -

Balimed - from the Bali bombings disaster on 12 October 2002

Tsunami Healthcare Assistance - from the Indian Ocean tsunamis disaster on 26 December 2004

London Assist - from the London bombings disasters on 7 July 2005

Bali 2005 - from the Bali bombings disasters on 1 October 2005

Practice Incentive Program (PIP)

Provides financial incentives to general practices who provide comprehensive quality care, and which are either accredited or working towards accreditation against the RACGP Standards of General Practice.

General Practice Immunisation Incentives Scheme (GPII)

Provides financial incentives to GPs who monitor, promote and provide immunisation services to children under the age of seven years.

   

(b)   Medicare Australia administers funds for each of these programs according to the eligibility rules provided by the Department of Health and Ageing.

(4)  

(i)   In the 2003-04 financial year, within the Newcastle electorate:

  • $182,424 was paid to 56 pharmacies for the following programs under the Third Pharmacy Agreement:
  • HMR (including rural loading component)                  $39,424
  • QCPP                                                                                  $143,000
  • $8.32 million was paid to 58 practices for PIP,
  • $0.49 million was paid to 67 practices for GPII.

The Broadband for Health Initiative was not operational in 2003/2004.

(ii)   In the 2004-05 financial year, within the Newcastle electorate:

  • $81,466 was paid to 58 pharmacies for the following programs under the Third Pharmacy Agreement;
  • HMR (including rural loading component)                  $42,966
  • QCPP                                                                                  $38,500
  • $8.27 million was paid to 58 practices for PIP;
  • $0.44 million was paid to 67 practices for GPII;
  • $78,293 was paid to 49 GP practices under the Broadband for Health (general practitioners) program; and
  • $93,558 was paid to 40 pharmacies under the Broadband for Health (Pharmacy) program.

Individual statistics for the Special Assistance Scheme (consumer) cannot be released due to the small number of recipients. A high proportion of medical services were provided through the public system therefore no figures are held by Medicare Australia. Funds paid by Medicare Australia for treatment not covered under the Medicare Benefits Schedule were as follows:

  • 2003/2004 - nil payments
  • 2004/2005 - less than $1,000

(5)   In accordance with the secrecy provisions contained in section 130 of the Health Insurance Act 1973, Medicare Australia will not release the names and addresses of funding recipients.

Australian Hearing

Australian Hearing has not administered any Commonwealth funded programs for which community organisations, businesses or individuals in the electoral division of Newcastle can apply for funding.

Health Services Australia

(1)   No

(2)   N/A

(3)   N/A

(4)   N/A

(5)   N/A

To prepare this answer it has taken approximately 38 hours and 50 minutes at an estimated cost of $1,640.