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Health Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1999
Schedule 3 Amendments relating to monitoring of changes in contribution rates of registered organizations

   

National Health Act 1953

1  Subsection 78(1)

Omit “the registered organization changes”, substitute “the registered organization makes any change (other than a change relating to rates of contribution by the contributors) in”.

2  Subsection 78(1A)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

          (1A)  The notification must reach the Secretary not later than 60 days, or such other period (if any) as is determined by the Minister on application from the organization, before the change is to come into operation.

3  Subsection 78(2A)

Omit “paragraph (1A)(a)”, substitute “subsection (1A)”.

4  Subsection 78(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  If the Minister is of the opinion that a change:

                     (a)  would or might result in a breach of this Act or of a condition of registration; or

                     (b)  imposes an unreasonable or inequitable condition affecting the rights of any contributor; or

                     (c)  might, having regard to the advice of the Council, adversely affect the financial stability of the health benefits fund; or

                     (d)  might, if the substance of the change were adopted by other registered organizations, adversely affect the interests of the private health insurance industry; or

                     (e)  would otherwise be contrary to the public interest;

the Minister may, before the day on which the change would otherwise come into operation, declare in writing that the change is not to come into operation.

5  After section 78

Insert:

78A   Change of rules etc. relating to contribution rates by registered organization

             (1)  If, after the registration of an organization under this Part, the registered organization makes, in relation to the rates of contribution by contributors, any changes in:

                     (a)  the constitution of the organization; or

                     (b)  the articles of association of the organization; or

                     (c)  the rules of the organization;

the registered organization must ensure that the Secretary receives notification of the change in accordance with this section.

             (2)  The notification must reach the Secretary:

                     (a)  if paragraph (b) does not apply—not later than 14 days, or such other period (if any) as is declared in writing by the Minister, before the change is to come into operation; or

                     (b)  if:

                              (i)  the organization applies to the Minister to reduce the period referred to in paragraph (a) in relation to a particular notification; and

                             (ii)  before the change is to come into operation, the Minister determines a lesser period;

                            not later than the lesser period before the change is to come into operation.

             (3)  Within a reasonable time after receiving the notification, the Secretary must give the organization written acknowledgment of its receipt.

             (4)  The notification must be in writing in a form approved by the Minister.

             (5)  The notification must:

                     (a)  identify the change; and

                     (b)  show that the change is consistent with this Act and the conditions of registration of the organization.

             (6)  A declaration under paragraph (2)(a) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

             (7)  If subsection (1) or (5) is not complied with in relation to a change, the change is not to come into operation.

             (8)  If the Minister is of the opinion that a change:

                     (a)  would or might result in a breach of this Act or of a condition of registration of an organization;

                     (b)  imposes an unreasonable or inequitable condition affecting the rights of any contributor; or

                     (c)  might, having regard to the advice of the Council, adversely affect the financial stability of a health benefits fund; or

                     (d)  might, if the substance of the change were adopted by other registered organizations, adversely affect the interests of the private health insurance industry; or

                     (e)  would otherwise be contrary to the public interest.

the Minister may, before the day on which the change would otherwise come into operation, declare that the change is not to come into operation.

             (9)  The Secretary must tell the Council of any declaration made by the Minister under subsection (8).

           (10)  Where the Minister makes a declaration under subsection (8) in relation to a notification by an organization, the Secretary must tell the organization of the declaration.

6  After subsection 105AB(5)

Insert:

          (5A)  An application may be made to the Tribunal for review of a decision of the Minister under subsection 78A(8).

7  Application provision concerning items 1 to 6

(1)        Subject to subitem (2), the amendments made by items 1 to 6 apply only in relation to a change that is notified to the Secretary on or after the date of commencement of those items.

(2)        A change that was notified to the Secretary before the date of the commencement of those items and which, but for those items, the Minister could, on or after that date, have declared under subsection 78(4) not to have come into operation, are to be dealt with by the Minister as if the amendments made by those items had not been made.

8  Paragraph 73BE(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph.

9  Subsections 78A(1), (2) and (3)

Omit “Secretary” (wherever occurring), substitute “Council”.

10  Paragraphs 78A(2)(a) and (b), subsections 78A(4) and (8)

Omit “Minister” (wherever occurring), substitute “Council”.

11  Paragraph 78A(8)(c)

Omit “, having regard to the advice of the Council,”.

12  Subsections 78A(9) and (10)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (9)  If the Council makes a declaration under subsection (8) in relation to the notification by an organization, the Council must provide a copy of the declaration under that subsection to the Secretary and to the organizations concerned.

           (10)  The Council must, at least once in each financial year, give the Secretary a report on all changes in the instruments of organizations that relate to rates of contributions.

13  After paragraph 82G(1)(d)

Insert:

                    (da)  to declare, under section 78A, that the changes made by a registered organization in relation to rates of contribution by contributors are not to come into effect and also to exercise related functions under that section;

14  Subsection 105AB(5A)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

          (5A)  An application may be made to the Tribunal for review of:

                     (a)  a decision of the Minister under subsection (8) of section 78 as that section is preserved in accordance with subitem 15(2) of Schedule 3 to the Health Legislation Amendment Act (No. 4) 1998 ; or

                     (b)  a decision of the Council under that subsection.

15  Application provision concerning items 8 to 14

(1)        Subject to subitem (2), the amendments of section 78A of the National Health Act 1953 made by items 8 to 14 apply only in relation to a change that is notified to the Council on or after the commencement of those items.

(2)        A change that was notified to the Secretary under that section before the date of commencement of those items and which, but for those items, the Minister could, on or after that date, have declared under subsection 78A(8) not to have come into operation, may be dealt with by the Minister under that section as if those items had not been enacted.

16  Section 78A

Repeal the section.

17  Paragraph 82G(1)(da)

Repeal the paragraph.

18  Subsection 105AB(5A)

Repeal the subsection.