Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 8592

Senator SCULLION (5:58 PM) —Briefly, we will not be supporting the Greens amendments. We think they are fundamentally aligned with the opposition’s. It is unfortunate that we did not have the opportunity to discuss this, and I apologise for that. Regarding the contentious area of advising the individual, we spoke to a number of people involved in this area. When you ring and advise an individual it is very difficult for them not to leave with a question. For example, whether it is auditing a doctor for Medicare compliance or whether it is a probity issue with the doctor or whether they have been malpractised, you are unable to provide that information to the individual and so they very well be left in doubt.

I have been informed that a couple of processes exist at the moment. One is that there is a professional body that can look into the activities and behaviours—the standards—of practitioners in a clinical sense. The other is the legislative process, which we alluded to, where you can see the records et cetera. Currently, neither of those informs the individual. I have a lot of confidence in that process, but I have absolutely no confidence in the process that the government previously had in the legislation. I understand the government has now agreed to amend its position. It is for those reasons particularly that we will not be supporting your amendments. They are good amendments, but we think that our amendments cover the situation more comprehensively.