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Notice given 7 September 2005

1151  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Is the Minister aware of the ‘Quality in Australian Health Care Study’ published by Wilson et al in 1995 in the Medical Journal of Australia which estimated that 470 000 admissions to hospitals occur annually in Australia because of medical mistakes.

(2) Is the Minister aware that this study also estimated that these admissions were associated with 18 000 deaths and 50 000 patients being permanently disabled to a greater or lesser extent.

(3) (a) What data is available on the number and/or proportion of patients in Australia that suffer from serious adverse effects or die from medical mistakes each year; and (b) how does this compare with other comparable countries.

(4) Has the Minister raised this matter with state and territory health ministers; if not, will the Minister do so.

(5) What other action is the Government taking to reduce the number of adverse events associated with medical interventions.

1152  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) Can details be provided of the project awarded to Hillsong Emerge Ltd for the Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project for the amount of $414 479 under the Community Partnership Stream.

(2) Will religious practice be a feature of this project.

(3) What ‘community enhancement’ will be conducted as crime prevention strategies.

(4) What role, if any, did the Member for Greenway (Mrs Markus) have in the project and decisions about its funding.

(5) Is it the case that Mrs Markus was previously employed by Hillsong Emerge Ltd.


 (6) What, if any, other projects have been awarded to Hillsong Emerge Ltd under the Community Partnership Stream.

1159  Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Given that at least one Pregnancy Help counselling service advertises that its volunteers undertake an accredited course run by the Australian Federation of Pregnancy Support Services (AFPSS) and that this course is funded by the Government; can the Minister advise: (a) with whom is this training accredited; and (b) whether it is possible to obtain a copy of the training program.

(2) Given that the same Pregnancy Help counselling service also advertises that its volunteers are ‘overseen’ by trained professionals; can the Minister advise: (a) the names of these trained professionals; (b) their qualifications; and (c) what this ‘overseeing’ involves, for example, is the ‘overseeing’ done on a weekly, monthly, annual or other basis.

(3) Are there requirements in place to ensure more regular supervision of volunteers.

(4) Are there guidelines in place to set out: (a) who the volunteers report to; and (b) how regularly they should report back to the appropriate person/s.

(5) Can the Minister advise whether volunteers and staff at pregnancy counselling services which receive direct or indirect Government funding, for example through the AFPSS, are required to: (a) abide by accredited guidelines for pregnancy counselling; if so, can details be provided, including which organisation sets out the guidelines and what the guidelines cover; (b) provide information about pregnancy options, that is, pregnancy continuation and pregnancy termination, which is based on reliable research and guidelines provided by such reputable organisations as the World Health Organization or the National Health and Medical Research Council; (c) provide appropriate referral for pregnancy options, that is, pregnancy continuation and pregnancy termination, to women requesting these options; (d) be members of an accredited body, for example the Australian Counselling Association, the Australian Psychological Society, or the Australian Association of Social Workers; and (e) be accredited with a professional body such as the Telephone Support, Information and Counselling Association, the peak body for services which predominantly run their services by phone.

(6) If applicable, can details be provided of any other training and/or professional development that volunteers and staff are required to undergo, or which is offered to volunteers and staff; for example, is there a requirement that volunteers and staff regularly update their training; if so, how often is training updated.

(7) If applicable, can copies be provided of the guidelines and/or application forms which assist the department in determining: (a) which pregnancy counselling services should receive government funding; and (b) how much each organisation and/or peak body receives.

(8) Are there mechanisms in place to address client complaints at those pregnancy counselling services which receive direct or indirect government funding; if so, can details be provided of these complaint processes.