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Tuesday, 8 March 2005
Page: 89

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues) (6:37 PM) —I want to thank all honourable senators for their contribution in the debate on the National Health Amendment (Prostheses) Bill 2004. I do have an interest in this bill since I think some of the initiatives were commenced when I was health minister, and I had a concern about the cost of private health insurance. One of the drivers of that was the use of very expensive prostheses without any consideration by those people who were using the prostheses. I will not go into the detail. The explanatory memorandum and the second reading speech clearly outline the goal and aim of this bill. I want to acknowledge the contribution of all stakeholders over a very long time who have contributed to the development of the new arrangements for the coverage of prostheses for consumers with private health insurance. I commend the bill to the Senate and hope that we will have some time to discuss Senator Allison’s amendment. I believe that tomorrow we will be discussing Senator Lees’s amendment when she has had time to consult with Minister Abbott. I commend the bill to the chamber.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.