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Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Page: 113


Senator LEES (5:21 PM) —by leave—I move the amendments on sheet 4518 revised 3:

R(1)         Schedule 1, item 3, page 3 (after line 20), after section 5F, insert:

5G  Hospital treatments by accredited podiatrists (podiatric surgeons)

         (1)    Hospital costs in relation to theatre fees, bed costs and prostheses incurred by private patients treated by accredited podiatrists may be eligible for benefits provided from the applicable benefit arrangements (hospital tables) of registered health benefit organizations for persons with appropriate cover.

         (2)    Benefits for professional fees of accredited podiatrists may be provided from the ancillary health benefit tables of registered health benefit organizations for persons with appropriate cover.

         (3)    The role of the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman includes monitoring the operation of provisions relating to accredited podiatrists within this Act and the Health Insurance Act 1973 and reporting and acting on complaints.

 (2)   Schedule 1, item 7, page 5 (line 16), omit “prosthesis”, substitute “prosthesis, or the provision of the prosthesis is associated with podiatric treatment by an accredited podiatrist”.

 (3)   Schedule 1, item 11, page 8 (line 7), omit “prosthesis”, substitute “prosthesis, or the provision of the prosthesis is associated with podiatric treatment by an accredited podiatrist”.

R(4) Schedule 1, page 7 (after line 25), after item 8, insert:

8A  After paragraph 82ZS(1)(c)

Insert:

                 (ca)    an accredited podiatrist;

R(5) Schedule 1, page 7 (after line 25), after item 8, insert:

8B  At the end of Section 82ZSA

Add:

       ; or (d)    the level of hospital costs being met by registered health benefit organizations under their applicable benefit arrangements in relation to patients of accredited podiatrists; or

              (e)    restrictions on access by an accredited podiatrist or the patient of an accredited podiatrist to hospital and day hospital facilities covered by an applicable hospital purchaser provider agreement or minimum benefit determination (default benefit) under paragraph (bj) of Schedule 1.

I spoke extensively on this matter yesterday, so I will not spend a lot of time on it now. These amendments simply make sure that we really do give patients some real choice. I would like to say a big thankyou to the departmental officers who worked through the night and to Gary Sauer-Thompson on my staff. They have had several attempts at this. I think we have reached a consensus. It is perhaps not as strong as I would have preferred, but it is a consensus agreement, and I hope that it will gain support. I am moving all the amendments together, as they all interrelate to the same issue, which is to make sure that podiatrists who are qualified as podiatric surgeons also have the opportunity to be part of this legislation relating to prostheses.