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HEALTHCARE IDENTIFIERS BILL 2010E HEALTHCARE IDENTIFIERS (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL 2010

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water (Senator Wong)—That these bills be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Senator Siewert moved the following amendment in respect of the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate calls on the Government to ensure:

  (a) the involvement of key healthcare stakeholder groups, including state and territory governments, private and community health providers, and healthcare consumer groups, in the development of a Healthcare Identifiers Service implementation plan which covers the period from now to 30 June 2012;

  (b) the publication of this plan for public comment prior to its finalisation; and

  (c) the development and implementation of a targeted education and communication strategy which targets both healthcare providers and healthcare consumers, and which clearly lays out the facts behind healthcare identifiers and provides contacts for people to access further detailed information. This strategy should be implemented prior to the Healthcare Identifiers Service coming into effect and no later than 30 June 2012".

Debate ensued.

Explanatory memorandum: The Special Minister of State (Senator Ludwig) tabled a replacement explanatory memorandum relating to the bills.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

Main question put and passed.

Bills read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bills.

In the committee

Bills taken together and as a whole by leave.


On the motion of Senator Ludwig the following amendments in respect of the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010, taken together by leave, were agreed to:

 Clause 5, page 2 (before line 19), before the definition of data source, insert:

   contracted service provider , of a healthcare provider, means an entity that provides:

 (a) information technology services relating to the communication of health information; or

 (b) health information management services;

   to the healthcare provider under a contract with the healthcare provider.

 Clause 5, page 4 (line 27), omit the definition of service operator, substitute:

   service operator means the Chief Executive Officer of Medicare Australia.

 Clause 5, page 4(after line 29), after the definition of State or Territory authority, insert:

   under this Act includes under the regulations.

 Clause 17, page 12 (line 29), omit "section.", substitute "section; or".

 Clause 17, page 12 (after line 29), at the end of subclause (1), add:

 (c) a contracted service provider (the authorised service provider) of an identified healthcare provider, if that identified healthcare provider has, by notice to the service operator, authorised the contracted service provider to act on behalf of that identified healthcare provider under this section.

 Clause 17, page 12 (line 30), omit "or authorised employee", substitute ", authorised employee or authorised service provider".

 Clause 17, page 13 (after line 6), at the end of note 1, add:

    The authorisation extends to certain employees and contracted service providers of the healthcare provider: see section 36.

 Clause 17, page 13 (line 9), at the end of note 2, add "The authorisation extends to certain employees and contracted service providers of the healthcare provider: see section 36.".

 Clause 31, page 21 (line 15), omit "section.", substitute "section; or".

 Clause 31, page 21 (after line 15), at the end of subclause (2), add:

 (c) a contracted service provider of an identified healthcare provider, if that identified healthcare provider has, by notice to the service operator, authorised the contracted service provider to act on behalf of that identified healthcare provider under this section.

 Clause 35, page 23 (line 4), after "this Act", insert "and the regulations".

 Clause 36, page 24 (lines 3 to 7), omit the clause, substitute:

  

36 Extent of authorisation

   An authorisation under this Act to an entity (the first entity) for a particular purpose is an authorisation to:

 (a) an individual who:

 (i) is an employee of the first entity; and

 (ii) whose duties involve implementing that purpose; or


 (b) a contracted service provider of the first entity, if:

 (i) the first entity is a healthcare provider; and

 (ii) the duties of the contracted service provider under a contract with the healthcare provider involve implementing that purpose by providing information technology services relating to the communication of health information, or health information management services, to the healthcare provider; or

 (c) an individual who:

 (i) is an employee of a contracted service provider to which paragraph (b) applies; and

 (ii) whose duties involve implementing that purpose as mentioned in that paragraph.

 Clause 37, page 24 (line 18), after "this Act", insert "or the regulations".

 Clause 37, page 24 (line 22), after "this Act", insert "or the regulations".

 Clause 37, page 24 (line 26), after "this Act", insert "and the regulations".

 Clause 5, page 2 (after line 23), after the definition of date of death accuracy indicator, insert:

   Defence Department means the Department that:

 (a) deals with matters arising under section 1 of the Defence Act 1903; and

 (b) is administered by the Minister who administers that section.

 Clause 5, page 3 (lines 9 to 17), omit the definition of healthcare provider, substitute:

   healthcare provider means:

 (a) an individual healthcare provider; or

 (b) a healthcare provider organisation.

 Clause 5, page 2 (line 17) to page 5 (line 6), insert:

   Healthcare Provider Directory has the meaning given by subsection 31(1).

healthcare provider organisation means an entity, or a part of an entity, that has conducted, conducts, or will conduct, an enterprise that provides healthcare (including healthcare provided free of charge).

   Example: A public hospital, or a corporation that runs a medical centre.

   individual healthcare provider means an individual who:

 (a) has provided, provides, or is to provide, healthcare; or

 (b) is registered by a registration authority as a member of a particular health profession.

   network organisation has the meaning given by subsection 9A(6).

organisation maintenance officer :

 (a) for a seed organisation—has the meaning given by paragraph 9A(3)(c); and

 (b) for a network organisation—has the meaning given by paragraph 9A(6)(b).

   
professional association means an organisation that:

 (a) is a separate legal entity under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory; and

 (b) has the following characteristics:

 (i) its members practise the same healthcare profession;

 (ii) it has enough membership to be considered representative of the healthcare profession practised by its members;

 (iii) it sets its own admission requirements, including acceptable qualifications;

 (iv) it sets and publishes standards of practice and ethical conduct;

 (v) it aims to maintain the standing of the healthcare profession practised by its members;

 (vi) it has written rules, articles of association, by-laws or codes of conduct for its members;

 (vii) it has the ability to impose sanctions on members who contravene the association's written rules, articles of association, by-laws or codes of conduct;

 (viii) it sets requirements to maintain its members' professional skills and knowledge by continuing professional development; and

 (c) has members who:

 (i) may take part in decisions affecting their profession; and

 (ii) have the right to vote at meetings of the association; and

 (iii) have the right to be recognised as being members of the professional association.

   responsible officer has the meaning given by paragraph 9A(3)(b).

retirement , for a healthcare provider organisation's healthcare identifier, means a state imposed by the service operator on the healthcare identifier so that it may no longer be used by the healthcare provider organisation to identify the healthcare provider organisation.

seed organisation has the meaning given by subsections 9A(3) and (4).

sole practitioner means a person who is both an individual healthcare provider and a healthcare provider organisation.

 Clause 9, page 7 (lines 6 and 7), omit "included in a class prescribed by the regulations for the purpose of this paragraph", substitute "to whom section 9A applies".

 Clause 9, page 7 (lines 16 to 24), omit paragraphs (3)(a) and (b), substitute:

 (a) an identifier that is assigned to an individual healthcare provider; and

 (b) an identifier that is assigned to a healthcare provider organisation; and

 Clause 9, page 7 (lines 26 to 28), omit all the words from and including "A healthcare provider" to and including "(for example, a sole practitioner)", substitute "A sole practitioner".

 Clause 9, page 8(lines 3 to 6), omit subclause (5).


 Page 8 (after line 8), after clause 9, insert:

  

9A Classes of providers for the purposes of paragraph 9(1)(a)

   Individual healthcare providers

  (1) This section applies to an individual healthcare provider who is registered by a registration authority as a member of a health profession.

  (2) This section also applies to an individual healthcare provider who is a member of a professional association that:

 (a) relates to the healthcare that has been, is, or is to be, provided by the member; and

 (b) has uniform national membership requirements, whether or not in legislation.

   Healthcare provider organisations

  (3) This section also applies to a healthcare provider organisation (a seed organisation) that has:

 (a) an employee who:

 (i) is an identified healthcare provider; and

 (ii) provides healthcare as part of his or her duties; and

 (b) only one employee (the responsible officer) to act on behalf of the seed organisation in its dealings with the service operator in relation to the following:

 (i) nominating to the service operator at least one employee to be an organisation maintenance officer for the seed organisation;

 (ii) nominating to the service operator any network organisation of the seed organisation for which the nominated organisation maintenance officer is to be responsible;

 (iii) requesting the assignment or retirement of a healthcare identifier for the seed organisation;

 (iv) requesting the merger or reconfiguration of a healthcare identifier for the seed organisation if the seed organisation was part of a merger or acquisition; and

Example: A request after merger activity between 2 healthcare provider organisations if one is a seed organisation, or the acquisition of one healthcare provider organisation by another if one is a seed organisation.

 (c) an employee (an organisation maintenance officer) to act on behalf of the seed organisation in its dealings with the service operator, including:

 (i) nominating to the service operator, if required, at least one additional employee to be an organisation maintenance officer for the seed organisation or any network organisation of the seed organisation; and

 (ii) nominating to the service operator any network organisation of the seed organisation for which an additional organisation maintenance officer is to be responsible; and


 (iii) requesting the assignment or retirement of a healthcare identifier for any network organisation of the seed organisation; and

 (iv) maintaining information that is held by the service operator about the seed organisation, and about any network organisation of the seed organisation for which the organisation maintenance officer is responsible; and

 (v) for the seed organisation, or for any network organisation of the seed organisation for which the organisation maintenance officer is responsible, that has consented to its details being included in the Healthcare Provider Directory—providing current details to the service operator about the organisation for inclusion in the Directory; and

 (vi) providing any further information requested by the service operator about the seed organisation, or about any network organisation of the seed organisation for which the organisation maintenance officer is responsible; and

 (vii) requesting the merger or reconfiguration of a healthcare identifier for any network organisation of the seed organisation, if the network organisation was part of a merger or acquisition.

Note: More than one employee may be an organisation maintenance officer. An employee may be any or all of the following: the responsible officer, an organisation maintenance officer and an authorised employee (see section 17).

  (4) A sole practitioner is taken to be a healthcare provider organisation to which subsection (3) applies if he or she provides healthcare and performs the roles of responsible officer and organisation maintenance officer.

  (5) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(b), a delegate of the responsible officer, who is another employee of the seed organisation, is taken to be the responsible officer.

  (6) This section also applies to a healthcare provider organisation (a network organisation) that:

 (a) is part of, or subordinate to, a seed organisation that:

 (i) has been assigned a healthcare identifier that has not been retired; and

 (ii) does not object to the network organisation being a network organisation of the seed organisation; and

 (b) has a person (an organisation maintenance officer) who complies with subsection (7) to act on behalf of the network organisation in its dealings with the service operator, including:

 (i) nominating to the service operator, if required, at least one additional employee to be an organisation maintenance officer for any network organisation of the seed organisation; and


 (ii) nominating to the service operator any network organisation of the seed organisation for which an additional organisation maintenance officer is to be responsible; and

 (iii) requesting the assignment or retirement of a healthcare identifier for any network organisation of the seed organisation; and

 (iv) maintaining information that is held by the service operator about any network organisation of the seed organisation for which the organisation maintenance officer is responsible; and

 (v) for any network organisation that the organisation maintenance officer is responsible for and that has consented to its details being included in the Healthcare Provider Directory—providing current details to the service operator about the organisation for inclusion in the Directory; and

 (vi) providing any further information requested by the service operator about any network organisation of the seed organisation for which the organisation maintenance officer is responsible; and

 (vii) requesting the merger or reconfiguration of a healthcare identifier for any network organisation of the seed organisation, if the network organisation is part of a merger or acquisition.

Example: A request after merger activity between the network organisation and another healthcare provider organisation, or the acquisition of one healthcare provider organisation by another if one is the network organisation.

  (7) For the purposes of paragraph (6)(b), the person must be an employee of:

 (a) the network organisation (the first network organisation); or

 (b) the seed organisation of the first network organisation; or

 (c) another network organisation that is:

 (i) linked to the seed organisation of the first network organisation; and

 (ii) hierarchically superior to the first network organisation.

 Page 8, after proposed clause 9A, insert:

  

9B Information that may be requested before assigning healthcare identifiers

  (1) The service operator may request an individual healthcare provider to provide the following information before assigning the healthcare provider a healthcare identifier:

 (a) identifying information of the healthcare provider;

Note: Identifying information is defined in section 7.

 (b) information that shows that section 9A applies to the healthcare provider.

  (2) The service operator may request a healthcare provider organisation to provide the following information before assigning the healthcare provider a healthcare identifier:


 (a) identifying information of the healthcare provider;

Note: Identifying information is defined in section 7.

 (b) information that shows that section 9A applies to the healthcare provider;

 (c) information identifying the healthcare provider's responsible officer and organisation maintenance officer, including the person's name, work address, work email address, work telephone number or work fax number.

  (3) The healthcare provider must give the information in any form requested by the service operator.

   Example: A healthcare provider may be asked for original documentation, or for the information to be given in writing or in a statutory declaration.

  (4) If the service operator is not satisfied by the information given, it does not have to assign a healthcare identifier to the healthcare provider.

 Page 8, after proposed clause 9B, insert:

  

9C Review of decision not to assign a healthcare identifier

  (1) This section applies to a decision by the service operator not to assign a healthcare identifier to a healthcare provider under paragraph 9(1)(a).

   Note: This section does not apply to a decision to assign a healthcare identifier to a healthcare recipient under paragraph 9(1)(b), or a decision by a national registration authority not to assign a healthcare identifier to an individual healthcare provider under subsection 9(2).

  (2) The service operator must give written notice of the decision to a person whose interests are affected by the decision, including a statement:

 (a) that the person may apply to the service operator to reconsider the decision; and

 (b) of the person's rights to seek review under subsection (8) of a reconsidered decision.

  (3) A failure of the service operator to comply with subsection (2) does not affect the validity of the decision.

  (4) A person whose interests are affected by the decision may, by written notice to the service operator within 28 days after receiving notice of the decision, ask the service operator to reconsider the decision.

  (5) A request under subsection (4) must mention the reasons for making the request.

  (6) The service operator must:

 (a) reconsider the decision within 28 days after receiving the request; and

 (b) give to the person who requested the reconsideration written notice of the result of the reconsideration and of the grounds for the result.

  (7) The notice must include a statement that the person may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of the reconsideration.


  (8) A person may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of a decision of the service operator made under subsection (6).

 Clause 12, page 9 (lines 23 and 24), omit paragraph (2)(c), substitute:

 (c) the Defence Department.

Question—That the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010, as amended, be agreed to—divided, at the request of Senator Ludwig, in respect of clause 6.

Clause 6 debated.

Question—That clause 6 stand as printed—put and negatived.

Senator Siewert moved the following amendments in respect of the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010 together by leave:

 Clause 9, page 7 (line 4), omit "The", substitute "Subject to section 9A, the".

 Page 8 (after line 8), after clause 9, insert:

  

9A Individuals must be able to opt out

  (1) A person may apply to the service operator to opt out of the Healthcare Identifier scheme.

  (2) If a person applies to the service operator in the form prescribed for the purposes of subsection (1):

 (a) the service operator is not authorised under section 9 to assign a number (a healthcare identifier) to identify the person as a healthcare recipient or for any other purpose connected with this Act or any other Act; and

 (b) the service operator must ensure that any healthcare identifier previously assigned to identify the person under section 9:

 (i) no longer be assigned to identify the person; and

 (ii) no longer be used to identify the person as a healthcare recipient or for any other purpose connected with this Act or any other Act.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.

Explanatory memoranda: Senator Ludwig tabled a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments to be moved to the bills and a further supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments to be moved to the Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010.


On the motion of Senator Ludwig the following amendments in respect of the Healthcare Identifiers (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010, taken together by leave, were agreed to:

 Clause 2, page 2 (at the end of the table), add:

5. Schedule 3The later of:

(a) the commencement of section 3 of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010; and

(b) immediately after the commencement of the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010.

However, the provision(s) do not commence at all if the event mentioned in paragraph (b) does not occur.

Page 6 (after line 15), at the end of the bill, add:

 

Schedule 3—Amendment of the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010

 1 Subsection 30(1)

  Omit "Privacy Commissioner", substitute "Information Commissioner".

Note 1: The heading to section 29 is altered by omitting "Privacy Commissioner " and substituting "Information Commissioner ".

Note 2: The heading to section 30 is altered by omitting "Privacy Commissioner " and substituting "Information Commissioner ".

 2 Subsection 30(1)

  Omit "Privacy Commissioner's", substitute "Information Commissioner's".

 3 Subsections 30(2) and (3)

  Omit "Privacy Commissioner", substitute "Information Commissioner".

Bills, as amended, agreed to.

Bills to be reported with amendments.

The Acting Deputy President (Senator Trood) resumed the chair and the Temporary Chair of Committees reported accordingly.

On the motion of Senator Ludwig the report from the committee was adopted and the bills read a third time.