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Monday, 28 October 1996
Page: 4567

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

The petition of the undersigned shows:

That we the undersigned are totally opposed to the Government's intention to legislate to restrict the issuing of Medicare provider numbers to doctors.

We consider that such an action would cause serious suffering, including a severe disadvantage to women, rural communities and medical research. We believe that it is the essential right of all Australian registered doctors to have access to provider numbers that allow them to provide services to the community which attract Medicare rebates for patients. We believe that such restrictions are an attack on the most defenceless and vulnerable strata of the medical profession. We consider it to be a denial of natural justice and an attack on Medicare.

Your petitioners request that the Senate should:

undertake an inquiry into the proposed restrictions on the provision of Medicare provider numbers and alternative measures to resolve the problems facing Medicare and the Australian medical workforce; and

call upon the Federal Minister for Health, The Hon Michael Wooldridge MP, to not proceed with the proposed restrictions on the provision of Medicare provider numbers to doctors and to enter into discussions with representatives of the medical profession to identify alternative measures to resolve the problems facing Medicare and the Australian medical workforce.

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