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Notice given 13 June 2006

2005  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) (a) How often does the Medicare Benefits Consultative Committee (MBCC) meet each year; and (b) are there regularly scheduled meeting dates and times.

(2) For the past 10 years: (a) how many submissions has the MBCC received each year; and (b) how many related to changes to the level of the fee set for Medicare items.

(3) Can a copy of submissions and MBCC review results be provided for the past 10 years; if not, why not.

(4) What is the timeframe for the review of a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item.

(5) (a) How does the Government’s policy, which reviews MBS items conducted under the auspices of the MBCC on a cost neutral basis, operate; and (b) does this mean that the rebate level for a procedure would never be able to be increased unless a rebate for another procedure were decreased.

(6) What role does the Minister play in determining changes to the MBS.

(7) For the past 10 years, how many of the submissions to the MBCC resulted in recommendations to the Minister for increases in the level of the Medicare rebate for a particular procedure.

(8) What percentage of these recommendations has been accepted by the Minister.

(9) How does this compare with the percentage of recommendations for increases in the level of the Medicare rebate for a particular procedure that were accepted prior to 1996.

2006  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the article ‘Weight Management and the challenges to Australian Pharmacy’ in Australian Pharmacist , Volume 24, No. 3, of March 2005, which reported that in 2002 only 8.7 per cent of pharmacists had staff trained in weight management:

(1) Has the number of pharmacies with staff trained in weight management increased since 2002.

(2) How many pharmacies have weight measuring devices.

(3) How many pharmacies with weight measuring devices have staff who are trained in how to measure, monitor and interpret the results.

(4) Has the Government implemented any measures to encourage or support training of pharmacists in weight management.

(5) What is the expected increase in the use of Xenical given the recent National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee decision to allow direct to consumer advertising of Xenical.


 (6) Has the Government undertaken any modelling of the potential increase to Government expenditure on Xenical and Orlistat through the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; if so, what were the results; if not, why not.

2012  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—With reference to a number of complaints received by Senator Brown in relation to the switch from AM to FM band radio in Northern Tasmania and given that since the switch ABC radio cannot be properly received in areas west of Doctors’ Rocks and in Ulverstone and Mawbanna: what is being done to rectify this loss of reception in these communities.