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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 103


Ms LEY (FarrerMinister for Sport and Minister for Health and Aged Care) (12:39): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill provides for the consequential and transitional provisions required to support the operation of the National Cancer Screening Register.

The National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 and the National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016 will establish the National Cancer Screening Register (the register), authorise collection, use and disclosure of information for the purposes of the register, authorise the migration of state and territory cervical screening data to the register and mandate reporting of screening information to the register to facilitate clinical decision-making. The designated cancers for the purpose of the NCSR bills are cervical cancer and bowel cancer.

A number of amendments to other legislation are required once the National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 receives royal assent to enable certain information to be provided to the register. These are described in the National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016.

Amendments will be made to the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015andthe Health Insurance Act 1973 to facilitate the provision of information to the register.

Schedule 3 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982(the FOI Act) will be amended to allow protected information in the register to be exempt from disclosure under section 38 of the FOI Act in response to an FOI request. This amendment will add the offence for unauthorised disclosure of protected information in the National Cancer Screening Register Bill to the list of secrecy provisions recognised for the purposes of subsection 38(1) of the FOI Act. Protected information for the purposes of the NCSR bills includes personal information in the register, or derived from personal information in the register.

This amendment to the FOI Act is important for ensuring there is no unnecessary intrusion on an individual's privacy arising from FOI requests. While the existing exemption in section 47F of the FOI Act prevents unreasonable disclosure of personal information, it is a conditional exemption subject to a public interest test. The amendment to the FOI Act will unconditionally exempt disclosure of protected personal information in the register in response to an FOI request.

The Health Insurance Act 1973 will be amended to enable the ongoing provision of Medicare enrolment and claim data to the register. This information will be used as part of the process for determining the individuals who are to be invited or not invited, as appropriate, to participate in the cervical cancer and bowel cancer screening programs.

The Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 will be amended to authorise the disclosure of information kept on the Australian Immunisation Register to the National Cancer Screening Register. This will allow for human papillomavirus vaccination status to be included in an individual's record on the register.

This bill authorises the disclosure of information from prescribed cervical screening registers to the register. This will facilitate the transfer of information from the state and territory based cervical screening registers to the National Cancer Screening Register without the states and territories being required to amend their legislation to authorise that transfer.

The bill provides for the civil penalty for failure to comply with mandatory reporting obligations to commence on 1 May 2018, allowing a 12-month grace period after commencement of the register to give healthcare providers time to transition to the new mandatory reporting scheme.

The provisions in this bill will commence at the same time as the National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016 commences. However, if that bill does not commence, the provisions in this bill do not commence at all.

I commend this bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.