Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Health Insurance Act 1973, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Introduced Senate 08 May 1995

Health Insurance Amendment Bill 1996
First Reading

1996

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

THE SENATE

Presented and read a first time

Health Insurance Amendment Bill 1996

No. , 1996

(Health and Family Services)

A Bill for an Act to amend the Health Insurance Act 1973, and for related purposes

9602820--1,115/7.5.1996--(28/96) Cat. No. 96 4516 0 ISBN 0644 447680

Contents

1       Short title

2       Commencement

3       Schedule(s)

Schedule 1--Amendment of the Health Insurance Act 1973       

9602820--1,115/7.5.1996--(28/96) Cat. No. 96 4516 0 ISBN 0644 447680

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1 Short title

        This Act may be cited as the Health Insurance Amendment Act 1996.

2 Commencement

       (1) Subject to this section, this Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

       (2) Subject to subsection (3), Schedule 1 commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

       (3) If Schedule 1 does not commence under subsection (2) within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3 Schedule(s)

        Subject to section 2, each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1--Amendment of the Health Insurance Act 1973
1 After Part IV

Insert:

Part IVA--Australian Childhood Immunisation Register

46A Definitions

        In this Part:

Australian Immunisation Procedures Handbook means the latest edition of the Australian Immunisation Procedures Handbook published by the Australian Government Publishing Service.

authorised, in relation to a person to whom information may be given in accordance with paragraph 46E(1)(e), means a person who is authorised under subsection 46E(2).

building society account means an account:

       (a) that is kept by a person with an organisation registered as a permanent building society under a law of a State or Territory; and

       (b) into which money received on deposit by the organisation from the person is paid.

child means a child under the age of 7 years.

credit union account means an account:

       (a) that is kept by a person with an organisation registered as a credit union under the law of a State or Territory; and

       (b) into which money received on deposit by the

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person is paid.

immunisation means the process of administering to a child for the purpose of immunising the child:

       (a) a vaccine that is registered under section 17 of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; or

       (b) a vaccine that is:

       (i) exempt goods within the meaning of that Act; or

       (ii) approved under section 19 of that Act.

immunisation encounter means the immunisation of a child against a vaccine preventable disease by a recognised immunisation provider.

information includes information contained in a record that is kept by the Commission in relation to the immunisation of children against vaccine preventable diseases by recognised immunisation providers, including the names and addresses of children, the date and nature of the immunisation of each child and the identity and addresses of providers and particulars of immunisations provided by them, but:

       (a) in paragraphs 46E(1)(a) and (b), does not include information as to the address of a child or of a parent or guardian of the child; and

       (b) in paragraphs 46E(1)(d) and (e), does not include information about a child or a parent or guardian of the child, if the parent or guardian, or another person exercising responsibilities in relation to the health of the child, has told the Commission in writing that he or she does not wish to be notified when the child needs to be immunised.

prescribed body means a body prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this Part.

purpose relating to the immunisation or health of children means any of the following purposes:

       (a) the recording of information about the immunisation of children;

       (b) the recording of information about recognised immunisation providers;

       (c) the use of information so recorded to determine:

       (i) if a particular child has been immunised and, if so, when the last immunisation took place and the diseases against which the child was immunised; or

       (ii) when a particular child needs to be immunised;

       (d) the notification to a parent or guardian of a child, or to another person exercising responsibilities in relation to the health of a child, as to when the child needs to be immunised.

recognised immunisation provider means a person who is recognised by the Commission as a provider of immunisation to children.

the Register means the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register kept under section 46B.

vaccine preventable disease means:

       (a) diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus and any other disease that is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph; and

       (b) in relation to a child for whom the Australian Immunisation Procedures Handbook recommends vaccination against hepatitis B and tuberculosis--hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

46B Commission's functions in relation to the Register

        The Commission's functions include the following:

       (a) to establish and keep a register known as the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register;

       (b) to record in the Register all immunisation encounters that are notified to the Commission by recognised providers or prescribed bodies;

       (c) in accordance with subsection 46E(1), to use information contained in the Register for purposes relating to the immunisation or health of children;

       (d) to make a payment to:

       (i) a recognised immunisation provider, or another person authorised by that provider to receive the payment; or

       (ii) the authority of a State or Territory whose functions include the registration of deaths in the State or Territory; or

       (iii) any other prescribed authority of a State or Territory that notifies the Commission about the deaths of children;

        in relation to the administrative costs incurred by the provider or authority in notifying the Commission about:

       (iv) in respect of a provider--an immunisation encounter of the provider; and

       (v) in any case--the death of a child in relation to

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whom there is an entry in the Register.

46C How Register is to be kept

       (1) The Commission may use the database of medicare enrolments held by the Commission to establish and update the Register.

       (2) The Commission may establish and keep the Register in a computerised form.

46D Provisions relating to making of payments

       (1) This section has effect for the purposes of payments under paragraph 46B(d).

       (2) Subject to the following provisions of this section, an amount that is to be paid must be paid to the credit of a bank account, credit union account or building society account nominated by the recognised immunisation provider or by the authority.

       (3) If the provider or authority has not nominated an account for the purpose of subsection (2), then, subject to subsections (4) and (6), the amount is not to be paid.

       (4) If:

       (a) an amount has not been paid because of subsection (3); and

       (b) the provider or authority then nominates an account for the purposes of subsection (2);

the amount must be paid under subsection (2).

       (5) The Managing Director of the Commission may direct that the whole or a part of an amount that is to be paid to the provider or authority is to be paid in a manner stated in the direction that is not in accordance with subsection (2).

       (6) If the Managing Director gives a direction under subsection (5), the amount must be paid in accordance with the direction.

       (7) If a payment is more than the amount that should have been paid, the Commission may, in relation to a later payment to or for the provider or authority concerned, reduce the amount paid to or for the provider or authority by an amount that is not more than the amount of the overpayment.

46E Powers of Managing Director of the Commission

       (1) For the purposes of the performance of the Commission's functions under section 46B, the Managing Director of the Commission may:

       (a) give information, other than information that would enable identification of a particular child, about the immunisation of children to:

       (i) a recognised immunisation provider for a purpose relating to the immunisation or health of a child; or

       (ii) a prescribed body for such a purpose; or

       (iii) an officer of the Department; or

       (iv) an officer of a Department, or of an authority, of a State or Territory who has requested the information; and

       (b) if:

       (i) a recognised immunisation provider requests information about the immunisation of a particular child for a purpose relating to the immunisation or health of the child; and

       (ii) a parent or guardian of the child consents to that information being given to the recognised immunisation provider;

        give the information to the recognised immunisation provider for that purpose; and

       (c) post a document containing information about the immunisation of a child to a parent or guardian of the child, at the address of the child that is known to the Commission; and

       (d) if an officer of the Department requests information about the immunisation of children for a purpose relating to the immunisation or health of children--give the information to the officer for that purpose; and

       (e) if:

       (i) a recognised immunisation provider who is authorised; or

       (ii) a prescribed body;

        requests information about the immunisation of children for a purpose relating to the immunisation or health of children--give the information to the authorised provider, or to an authorised officer or employee of the body, as the case may be, for that purpose.

       (2) The Managing Director of the Commission may authorise a person who is:

       (a) a recognised immunisation provider; or


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       (b) an officer or employee of a prescribed body;

to receive information under paragraph (1)(e) if the person has agreed in writing that, even if the person ceases to be such a provider or such an officer or employee, as the case requires, he or she:

       (c) will not use the information except for the purpose for which the information is given to him or her; and

       (d) will not, either directly or indirectly, give the information to another person; and

       (e) will ensure that any record of the information that is in his or her possession is protected by security safeguards that it is reasonable in the circumstances to take against loss of the record or misuse of the information.

       (3) For the purposes of an agreement made by a person under subsection (2), the reference in paragraph (2)(c) to the using of information, and the reference in paragraph (2)(d) to the giving of information, do not include a reference to:

       (a) the giving of information to a court under a legal requirement; or

       (b) if the person is a recognised immunisation provider--the giving of information that needs to be given in the performance of the function of immunising children; or

       (c) if the person is an officer or employee of a prescribed body--the giving of information that the person needs to give in the course of performing duties or functions, or exercising powers, as an officer or employee of the body for purposes relating to the immunisation or health of children.

2 Saving

The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register that was, immediately before the commencement of item 1, kept under regulation 3 of the Health Insurance Commission Regulations is taken to be kept under the Part inserted in the Health Insurance Act 1973 by that item.

3 After subsection 130(3A)

Insert:

       (3B) A person to whom information is given under paragraph 46E(1)(b), (d) or (e) must not use the information except for the purpose for which it was requested.

Penalty:       5 penalty units.

       (3C) Subject to subsection (3E), a person to whom information is given under subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(i), (ii) or (iv), paragraph 46E(1)(b) or subparagraph 46E(1)(e)(ii), and any person or employee under the control of the first-mentioned person, must not, directly or indirectly, divulge any of the information to any person.

Penalty:       5 penalty units.

       (3D) Subsection (3C) continues to apply:

       (a) in respect of information that was given to a person under subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(i) or paragraph 46E(1)(b), even though the person has ceased to be recognised by the Commission as a provider of immunisation to children; and

       (b) in respect of information that was given to an officer of a Department, or of an authority, of a State or Territory to whom the information was given under subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(iv), even though the person has ceased to be such an officer; and

       (c) in respect of information that was given to an officer or employee of a body to whom the information was given under subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(ii) or (e)(ii), even though the person has ceased to be such an officer or employee.

       (3E) Subsection (3C) does not apply to the divulging of information by a person if:

       (a) where the information is divulged by a person referred to in subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(i) or paragraph 46E(1)(b)--the divulging of the information is necessary for the purposes of the performance by the person of his or her functions as a provider of immunisation to children; or

       (b) where the information is divulged by an officer of a Department or authority referred to in subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(iv) or of a body referred to in subparagraph 46E(1)(a)(ii) or (e)(ii)--the divulging of the information is necessary for the purposes of the performance of his or her duties and functions, or the exercise of his or her powers, in relation to the immunisation of children as an officer of the Department or authority, or of the body, as the case may be.

       (3F) A prescribed body referred to in subparagraph 46E(1)(e)(ii) must, in relation to any record in the possession of an officer of the body that contains information disclosed to him or her under that subparagraph, ensure that the record is protected, by any security safeguards that it is reasonable in the circumstances to take, against loss, against unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, and against other misuse.

Penalty:       5 penalty units.

4 At the end of subsection 130(11)

Add "or section 46E".

5 Subsection 130(13)

After "(7)", insert "or section 46E".

6 Subsection 130(25)

After "section", insert ", unless the contrary intention appears".