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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 2473

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (15:45): Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a brief statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator JACINTA COLLINS: The noncompliance associated with the chronic disease dental scheme involved a clear failure by affected dental practitioners to meet fundamental statutory requirements set out in the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Determination 2007 established by the previous government. The Department of Health and Ageing has no discretion in administering these requirements. In particular these requirements are necessary to ensure that patients are fully informed about the cost of the dental treatment to be undertaken and to assist the GP manage the patients' chronic health condition.

The proposed motion attempts to trivialise some of the non-compliance issues which go to the patients' rights in the provisions of the law. Of the audits conducted, in 12.7 per cent of cases no services were provided. One case has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and two cases involve treatments being undertaken for patients in nursing homes who had not given permission for the treatment to be undertaken. This is why the government is opposing this motion.