Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Act No. 70 of 2017 as made
An Act to amend the Health Insurance Act 1973, and for related purposes
Administered by: Health
Originating Bill: Health Insurance Amendment (National Rural Health Commissioner) Bill 2017
Registered 27 Jun 2017
Date of Assent 26 Jun 2017
Table of contents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Insurance Amendment (National Rural Health Commissioner) Act 2017

 

No. 70, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

An Act to amend the Health Insurance Act 1973, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—National Rural Health Commissioner                                          3

Health Insurance Act 1973                                                                                        3

Schedule 2—Abolition of National Rural Health Commissioner            10

Health Insurance Act 1973                                                                                      10

Schedule 3—Other measures                                                                                        11

Health Insurance Act 1973                                                                                      11

 


 

 

Health Insurance Amendment (National Rural Health Commissioner) Act 2017

No. 70, 2017

 

 

 

An Act to amend the Health Insurance Act 1973, and for related purposes

[Assented to 26 June 2017]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Health Insurance Amendment (National Rural Health Commissioner) Act 2017.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

26 June 2017

2.  Schedule 1

A single day to be fixed by Proclamation.

However, if the provisions do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the day after the end of that period.

1 August 2017

(F2017N00056)

3.  Schedule 2

1 July 2020.

1 July 2020

4.  Schedule 3

At the same time as the provisions covered by table item 2.

1 August 2017

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation 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 1National Rural Health Commissioner

  

Health Insurance Act 1973

1  After Part V

Insert:

Part VANational Rural Health Commissioner

  

79AA  Simplified outline of this Part

The National Rural Health Commissioner is to provide advice to the Minister responsible for rural health. The Commissioner will:

       (a)     define what it means to be a rural generalist and develop a National Rural Generalist Pathway; and

      (b)     report to the Minister about these matters.

The Commissioner may also provide advice to the Minister on the development and distribution of the health workforce and on rural health reform.

The Commissioner will work with the following broad range of rural, regional and remote stakeholders:

       (a)     health professionals;

      (b)     the States and Territories;

       (c)     other rural health stakeholders.

The Commissioner’s office ceases on 1 July 2020, when the Commissioner’s functions will be complete.

The Minister must consider a year before this whether the office should be extended.

79AB  National Rural Health Commissioner

             (1)  There is to be a National Rural Health Commissioner.

Note:          The office of National Rural Health Commissioner will cease on repeal of this Part, which will occur on 1 July 2020. See Schedule 2 to the Health Insurance Amendment (National Rural Health Commissioner) Act 2017.

             (2)  The Minister must consider no later than 1 July 2019 whether the office of the Commissioner should be extended beyond 1 July 2020.

79AC  Functions of the National Rural Health Commissioner

             (1)  The functions of the National Rural Health Commissioner are to provide advice in relation to rural health to the Minister responsible for rural health, including by:

                     (a)  defining what it means to be a rural generalist; and

                     (b)  developing a National Rural Generalist Pathway; and

                     (c)  providing advice to the Minister on the development and distribution of the rural health workforce and on matters relating to rural health reform.

             (2)  In performing the functions referred to in subsection (1), the National Rural Health Commissioner must do the following:

                     (a)  consult with health professionals in regional, rural and remote areas;

                     (b)  consult with the States and Territories, and with other rural health stakeholders, as the Commissioner considers appropriate;

                     (c)  consider appropriate remuneration, and ways to improve access to training, for rural generalists;

                     (d)  consider advice of the Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable and the rural health workforce distribution working group.

             (3)  The National Rural Health Commissioner must prepare and give to the Minister:

                     (a)  a draft report in relation to the Commissioner’s functions, setting out the Commissioner’s draft advice and recommendations, no later than:

                              (i)  unless subparagraph (ii) applies—6 months before the deadline in paragraph (b); or

                             (ii)  an earlier day (if any) specified by the Minister; and

                     (b)  a final report in relation to the Commissioner’s functions, setting out the Commissioner’s final advice and recommendations, no later than:

                              (i)  unless subparagraph (ii) applies—30 June 2020; or

                             (ii)  an earlier day (if any) specified by the Minister.

             (4)  On request by the National Rural Health Commissioner, the Minister may extend the deadline in paragraph (3)(a) by up to 2 weeks.

             (5)  The Minister must table a copy of the final report before each House of the Parliament, within five sitting days of the House after the final report is given to the Minister.

79AD  Appointment

             (1)  The National Rural Health Commissioner is to be appointed by the Minister by written instrument, on a full‑time basis or a part‑time basis.

Note:          The Commissioner may be reappointed: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

             (2)  The National Rural Health Commissioner holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 2 years.

             (3)  A person is only eligible to be appointed as the National Rural Health Commissioner if the person has experience in rural health.

79AE  Acting appointments

                   The Minister may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the National Rural Health Commissioner:

                     (a)  during a vacancy in the office of the Commissioner (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Commissioner:

                              (i)  is absent from duty or from Australia; or

                             (ii)  is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

Note:          For rules that apply to acting appointments, see sections 33AB and 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

79AF  Terms and conditions

                   The National Rural Health Commissioner holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Part that are determined by the Minister.

79AG  Remuneration

             (1)  The National Rural Health Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the instrument under subsection (4).

             (2)  The National Rural Health Commissioner is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the instrument under subsection (4).

             (3)  This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

             (4)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, prescribe:

                     (a)  remuneration for the purposes of subsection (1); and

                     (b)  allowances for the purposes of subsection (2).

79AH  Leave of absence

             (1)  If the National Rural Health Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis, he or she has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  If the National Rural Health Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis, the Minister may grant him or her leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Minister determines.

             (3)  If the National Rural Health Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis, the Minister may grant him or her leave of absence on the terms and conditions that the Minister determines.

79AI  Outside employment

             (1)  If the National Rural Health Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis, he or she must not engage in paid work outside the duties of his or her office without the Minister’s approval.

             (2)  If the National Rural Health Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis, he or she must not engage in any paid work that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of his or her duties.

             (3)  In this section:

paid work means work for financial gain or reward (whether as an employee, a self‑employed person or otherwise).

79AJ  Resignation

             (1)  The National Rural Health Commissioner may resign his or her appointment by giving the Minister a written resignation.

             (2)  The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Minister or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

79AK  Termination of appointment

             (1)  The Minister may terminate the appointment of the National Rural Health Commissioner:

                     (a)  for misbehaviour; or

                     (b)  if the Commissioner is unable to perform the duties of his or her office because of physical or mental incapacity.

             (2)  The Minister may terminate the appointment of the National Rural Health Commissioner if:

                     (a)  the Commissioner:

                              (i)  becomes bankrupt; or

                             (ii)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                            (iii)  compounds with his or her creditors; or

                            (iv)  makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

                     (b)  if the Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis—the Commissioner is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months; or

                     (c)  if the Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis—the Commissioner engages, except with the Minister’s approval, in paid work outside the duties of his or her office (see subsection 79AI(1)); or

                     (d)  if the Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis—the Commissioner engages in paid work that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of his or her duties (see subsection 79AI(2)); or

                     (e)  the Commissioner fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 79AL.

79AL  Disclosure of interests

                   The National Rural Health Commissioner must disclose to the Minister details of any direct or indirect pecuniary interests that the Commissioner has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions.

79AM  Annual report

             (1)  The National Rural Health Commissioner must, within 3 months after the end of each calendar year, prepare and give to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report about the Commissioner’s activities during the previous calendar year (the reporting period).

Note:          See also section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which contains extra rules about annual reports.

             (2)  The report must include:

                     (a)  details of the National Rural Health Commissioner’s activities during the reporting period; and

                     (b)  any other matters the Minister directs the Commissioner to include in the report.

79AN  Minister may give directions to the National Rural Health Commissioner

             (1)  The Minister may, by notifiable instrument, give written directions to the National Rural Health Commissioner about:

                     (a)  the performance of the Commissioner’s functions; and

                     (b)  matters to be included in a report under section 79AM.

             (2)  The Commissioner must comply with a direction under subsection (1).

79AO  Assistance from APS employees

             (1)  The Secretary of the Department may enter into an arrangement with the National Rural Health Commissioner for the services of APS employees in the Department to be made available to assist the Commissioner.

             (2)  When performing services for the National Rural Health Commissioner under this section, a person is subject to the directions of the Commissioner.

Schedule 2Abolition of National Rural Health Commissioner

  

Health Insurance Act 1973

1  Part VA

Repeal the Part.

Schedule 3Other measures

  

Health Insurance Act 1973

1  Section 3GC

Repeal the section.

2  Section 19AD

Repeal the section.

 

 

 

 

[Minister’s second reading speech made in—

House of Representatives on 9 February 2017

Senate on 23 March 2017]

 

(4/17)