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Visit of the Health Committee to Australia

Visit of the Health Committee to Australia 8-11 March 2010

The New Zealand Parliament Health Select Committee will travel to Australia for four days, from Monday, 8 March 2010, as part of an annual Joint Select Committee Exchange. They will be hosted by the Australian Commonwealth Parliament.

Committee members visiting Australia include Dr Paul Hutchison (Chairperson), Hon Ruth Dyson (Deputy Chairperson), Eric Roy, Nicky Wagner, Michael Woodhouse, Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and Iain Lees-Galloway.

One focus will be Australia’s activity in the field of the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. The Australian Senate Select Committee on Men’s Health last year inquired into general issues around men’s health and its report included a chapter on prostate cancer. The Health Committee intends to discuss the report with members of that committee.

Funding models for health provision, in particular the Medicare scheme, will also be discussed with officials from Medicare.

The committee will assess completion rates of childhood immunisation; and discuss what is happening in the area of clinical trials. They will meet with members of the Australian action group that was set up to “cement the nation’s position as a good place for the conduct of clinical trials.”

The programme starts in Sydney where the committee will meet with officials from the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council, and then the group will move on to Canberra where they will meet with officials from the Department of Health and Ageing, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Chair and members of the Standing Committee on Health and Ageing, and the Chair and members of the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

In Brisbane on the final day, a meeting is planned with the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and members of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, members of the UQ Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine. Several hospitals and research facilities are also included in the visit programme.

The Joint Committee Exchange is an annual exchange of committees from the New Zealand and Australian Commonwealth Parliaments. Later in 2010 the New Zealand Parliament will host a committee of the Australian parliaments in a reciprocal visit. One committee from each Parliament travels each year under the exchange.

NB: The committee will fly economy class to Australia. Other travel and accommodation costs are met by the Australian hosts.

ENDS

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