Senator DI NATALE
That the Senate notes that:
(a) in the past 20 years, Australia has an excellent record of achievement in the prevention of disease through immunisation;
(b) in the most recent annual data records (2012), there were 1,897 adverse events following immunisation;
(c) a no-fault vaccine injury compensation system would provide critical cover for those exceptionally unfortunate instances where a patient experiences an adverse event with a vaccination;
(d) nineteen other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America and New Zealand, have a no-fault vaccine injury compensation system, and such a scheme would enable Australia to compensate the families where there is this extremely rare instance of long-term vaccine injury; and
(e) high rates of immunisation reflect public trust in its benefits, and such trust would only be strengthened by the knowledge that the community will look after the few unfortunate casualties of a highly successful immunisation program.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
Leave is granted for one minute.
The government is currently in negotiations with the states and territories on the establishment of a National Injury Insurance Scheme, a federated model of separate state-based no-fault schemes that provide lifetime care and support for people who have sustained a catastrophic injury. This is as recommended by the Productivity Commission in 2011. One stream of work in these negotiations is discussions to provide cover for medical accidents, where issues such as causality and the scope of such cover will be elements of the negotiations.