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Parliamentarians scrutinise health issues from around Australia

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The Australian Senate is continuing its inquiry into the number of women in Australia who have had transvaginal mesh implants, having had to extend the date for submissions has been extended until 30 June 2017. The reporting date is 30 November 2017.  The committee will examine the types and incidence of health the Committee plans to hold public hearings at locations around Australia.

The inquiry will scrutinise problems experienced by women who have had this surgery, and the impact this has had on their lives. The committee will also examine the information available to patients and doctors about this surgery; any incentives offered to medical practitioners in relation to the use of transvaginal mesh implants and the role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s role in regulating and monitoring the use of transvaginal mesh implants. 

The Senate is also responding to the reported incidents in the Makk and McLeay Aged Mental Health Care Service at Oakden in South Australia, by examining the current aged care quality assessment and accreditation framework in the context of these incidents. The reporting date of this inquiry is 18 February 2018.

The House of Representatives is using the committee process to look into the use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia. 

Committee chair Trent Zimmerman MP, said: “In recent years the use of e-cigarettes has grown rapidly and governments have taken very diverse approaches to dealing with their emergence.”

“Internationally e-cigarettes have been regulated either as consumer, tobacco, or medicine products and the Committee will be investigating these different international regulatory approaches,” Mr Zimmerman said.

A House of Representative Committee adopted an inquiry in March this year into how Australia’s federal family law system can better support and protect people affected by family violence. Hearings are currently being conducted around Australia and will hear evidence from those with personal experience at the intersection of family violence and the family law system, including Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year. 

Committee chair Sarah Henderson MP said family violence was an issue which required a response from all sections of the community, and across all levels of government.

“We must ensure that the family law system provides adequate support and protection in cases where family violence has occurred,” Ms Henderson said.

“In carrying out the inquiry, the Committee will consider what has been done so far—and what more can be done—to meet the needs of vulnerable people in family law proceedings.”

Other parliamentary inquiries looking into special health issues include hearing health and wellbeing; delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 to build inclusive and accessible communities; and value and affordability of private health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs.

The AMA advocates to the Australian Parliament on many issues and submissions can be found at: advocacy/

MEREDITH HORNE

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