Senate debates

Thursday, 5 December 2019


Health Legislation Amendment (Data-matching and Other Matters) Bill 2019; Second Reading

12:58 pm

Photo of Carol BrownCarol Brown (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Tourism) Share this | | Hansard source

Labor will support this bill, the Health Legislation Amendment (Data-matching and Other Matters) Bill 2019, to improve Medicare compliance by allowing data matching between agencies. The bill will help to identify and take action against the very small number of health providers who make inappropriate Medicare claims. Importantly, however, it will not allow the government to share information with private health insurers. I welcome the minister's assurance that compliance activities won't be automated, which would be akin to the disastrous robodebt scheme. The bill requires the minister to make a legislative instrument to govern the new data-matching program. Among others, the AMAS has pointed out there is little detail in this bill and that the devil will be in the detail of the legislative instrument. Labor shares that view and I can assure the sector we will be scrutinising the eventual instrument very closely. The real risk to Medicare is the cuts and neglect we have seen from this government over its three terms.

12:59 pm

Photo of Jonathon DuniamJonathon Duniam (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries) Share this | | Hansard source

I commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.