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Monday, 18 November 2002
Page: 6639


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (6:28 PM) —I am sorry to be brief, Senator Allison, but in 1½ minutes I will have to go to the Pharmacy Guild dinner and I have got leave to do so. The PSR process does take into consideration the demographics of, and availability of doctors in, a particular region. This can occur at the time when a request is made by the Health Insurance Commission, when a review is undertaken by the director of PSR and during an investigation. It does take into account the fact that you may get different patterns of volume depending on where the doctor is located, how many doctors there are and the profile—if they are older people or whatever. Also, it does apply to both specialists and GPs. I hope that answers your question. I believe Senator Campbell will be taking the Health Insurance Amendment (Professional Services Review and Other Matters) Bill 2002 through the rest of the discussion. If the amendment is as we have discussed beforehand—and we need to make sure that it is the amendment we agreed to before—I believe that the coalition will be supporting it. I thank honourable senators for their contributions.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.