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Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Page: 3340


Mrs ELLIOT (Minister for Ageing) (6:48 PM) —I thank all the members who have made valuable contributions in relation to this debate. Of course the Health Insurance Amendment (Pathology Requests) Bill 2010 removes the legislative restriction that effectively requires a patient to take a request for a pathology service to the approved pathology practitioner or approved pathology authority named on the request in order for a Medicare benefit to be payable for the pathology service provided. This legislative change will allow patients to take a pathology request to an approved pathology practitioner or approved pathology authority of their choice and will encourage pathology providers to compete on price and convenience for patients. These amendments will take effect from July 2010. Of course doctors will be encouraged to continue to advise their patients on the best choice of pathology provider for their needs. I commend the bill.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.