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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 8860


Mr ANDREWS (Minister for Ageing) (10:02 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

In the Medical Indemnity Bill 2002, the government has put in place a scheme to fund the incurred but not reported liabilities of medical defence organisations where they do not have adequate reserves to cover these liabilities. The Medical Indemnity (IBNR Indemnity) Contribution Bill 2002 requires a contribution from members of medical defence organisations with unfunded IBNRs to cover the cost of Commonwealth assistance in meeting those liabilities. The government is aware of the need to make the contribution affordable for doctors and other allied health professionals. This is why it will be spread over a number of years. There should therefore be no justification for doctors increasing their charges significantly or ceasing to bulk-bill due to medical indemnity costs. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Melham) adjourned.