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Thursday, 11 June 1970

Dr KLUGMAN (Prospect) - If honourable members look at sections 34, 35 and 37 of the principal Act they will notice that the committee of inquiry which the Minister has referred to can do 4 things. Section 34(1.) provides, inter alia:

If a Committee of Inquiry . . . reports that ... a medical practitioner -

(a)   should have been, or should be, paid an amount or a rate less than the amount or rale of fees or allowances prescribed by the regulation; or

(b)   should not have been, or should not be, paid any amount,

Section 35 provides that arising out of the inquiry the medical practitioner may be reprimanded or have his agreement terminated. In other words, A possibilities exist. The Minister has always accepted the proposition that there should be a right of appeal against the final 2 possibilities which exist as a result of a decision of a committee of inquiry that a doctor should not have done certain things.

The Australian Labor Party is suggesting that in addition to his right of appeal on those 2 points there should also be a right of appeal when his money is not paid or when the amount of money due to him is reduced .significantly. Surely in both cases the decision must be partly based on professional grounds. I understand that repeatedly both things will happen, that the medical practitioner will be dealt with under sections 34 and 35. In other words, the amount of money due to him will be reduced or not paid at all and he will be reprimanded or his agreement terminated. Both these points come into it and yet he is entitled to appeal on only one of them. 1 cannot say why there should be this distinction and why there should not be the right of appeal on both grounds.

Amendment disagreed to.

Motion (by Dr forbes) agreed to:

That amendment No. 9 be agreed to.

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