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MEDICAL INDEMNITY BILL 2002

The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—

Debate resumed by Mr S. F. Smith who moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "while supporting the passage of the Bills, the House:

(1) condemns the Government for not adequately recognising the medical indemnity insurance problem and not acting quickly enough to address its adverse effects, including higher medical costs and reduced availability of services for Australians and their families;

(2) condemns the Government for failing to address the effects of higher medical indemnity insurance premiums on midwives, private hospitals, family planning clinics and aboriginal medical services; and

(3) calls on the Government to:

 (a) assume a leadership role in the co-ordination of reforms necessary to State and Territory laws with the aim of uniformity in tort law reforms;

(b) consider putting in place a national scheme to ensure the long term care and rehabilitation needs of catastrophically injured Australians;

(c) ask the ACCC to ensure that whatever changes occur in medical indemnity insurance, no unfair or unreasonable oncosts flow to patients for the cost of their health care;

(d) play a more active role in bringing together medical defence organisations and representing them in negotiations with reinsurers; and

(e) support APRA with appropriate resources to fulfil its greater regulatory role in medical indemnity insurance".

Debate continued.

Mrs Crosio addressing the House—