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Sleep apnoea and equipment costs

Estimates & Committees
Rachel Siewert 23 Feb 2011

Community Affairs – 23 February 2011

Senator SIEWERT—We may be doing this game again with me but we will see. I am interested in the costs of specialised medical equipment.

Ms Halton—Keep going; more hints.

Senator SIEWERT—I have had this from several people, but one in particular raised it with me. He is a disability pensioner and he is after supplying some equipment that he needs and apparently he can get it cheaper overseas but he does not get support for that. Do I ask that here or should I ask that tomorrow with FaHCSIA?

Senator McLucas—Who is paying the bill?

Senator SIEWERT—The Commonwealth.

Senator McLucas—Either FaHCSIA or DoHA.

Mr Learmonth—Is it a medical thing?

Senator SIEWERT—Yes, it is a medical thing.

Mr Learmonth—An aid to daily living disability?

Senator SIEWERT—It is a medical condition.

Ms Halton—Is it a prosthesis?

Senator SIEWERT—No.

Ms Halton—It is not something you insert?

Senator SIEWERT—It is for sleep—

Ms Halton—Apnoea.

Senator SIEWERT—Yes, I cannot say it.

Dr Bartholomaeus—So, you are saying it is CPAP?

Senator SIEWERT—Yes.

Ms Halton—It is no-one’s. Is it funded under private health insurance?

Senator SIEWERT—No.

CHAIR—Maybe you should put it on notice.

Senator SIEWERT—I will put it on notice and maybe you can work it out because we were having trouble working it out, but he is basically being told that he does not get any support for it if he buys it overseas, but it is cheaper for him to do that.

Dr Bartholomaeus—I think there might be state programs that touch on some of these. I know DVA has a program that touches on this, but I do not think there is a Commonwealth program that covers anything.

Ms Halton—No, there is not. There is not anything explicit. That was part of the COAG deal donkey’s years ago where aids and appliances were funded by the states.

Senator SIEWERT—With the state?

Ms Halton—Yes.

Senator SIEWERT—There is some Commonwealth funding for aids and appliances, though.

Ms Halton—Well, that is what I just asked.

Dr Bartholomaeus—In some limited areas, where it is a prosthesis.

Senator SIEWERT—Yes, and this is one of them, so he is probably getting confused between who he has been—is that what you are saying?

Dr Bartholomaeus—I think we have to take it on notice and check.

CHAIR—That is what I suggest. Put it on notice and then if we do find out it does not fit we can then put it to the state.

Ms Halton—Unless it is a PHI issue, I will be very surprised if it is us.

CHAIR—I am pleased to say that Senator Siewert’s questions on PET will be put on notice.

Senator SIEWERT—I thought you would really be pleased about that.


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