112. Hon ALISON XAMON to the minister representing the Minister for Corrective Services:
(1) Does the minister intend to advocate for change at the federal level to allow prisoners to access Medicare?
(2) If yes to (1) —
(a) when; and
(b) does the minister expect a positive outcome from this advocacy?
(3) If no to (1), why not?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question. The following information has been provided by the Minister for Corrective Services.
(1)–(3) Section 19(2) of the commonwealth Health Insurance Act 1973 precludes the payment of benefits under Medicare for medical services that are provided by or on behalf of and/or under an arrangement with a government authority. This prevents prisoners from accessing Medicare. The matter of access to Medicare has been raised at previous Corrective Services Ministerial Council meetings. It is expected that this matter will be raised at the upcoming meeting scheduled for July 2021.