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Call for public comment on Australia’s migration health rules
Old 9th October 2009, 10:30 PM   #1
Sheelagh Blanckenberg
 
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Default Call for public comment on Australia’s migration health rules

Do visa applicants with a disability represent an unfair cost to the Australian community and to our health system?

This is the question being asked by the Migration Committee’s inquiry into the migration treatment of disability.

Chair Michael Danby said that the Committee would like to hear the views of people with a disability, employers, business organisations, disability and community services providers, and any other interested individuals or organisations.

The Committee is also interested in hearing the stories of people who have had difficulties getting a visa due to a disability, disease or condition, or have a friend or family member with that experience.

Comments are sought on the following questions:

• Is the current process for assessing a visa applicant against the health requirement fair and transparent?
• What types of contributions and costs should be considered?
• How do we measure these?
• Are there additional factors that should be considered?
• Do you have personal experience of this?
• What principles should apply to the assessment of visa applications against the health requirement? Should there be exceptions?

Every year, millions of people apply to visit or migrate to Australia, and grant of a visa is conditional on a person satisfying the health requirement specified in the Migration Regulations.

Disability does not in itself mean that a person or a family will be refused a visa. However, as part of the health test, applicants with a ‘disease or condition’ are assessed on their potential cost and impact on Australian health and community services.

In 2007-08, at least 240 people were refused visas on the basis of a health condition, including at least 70 with a disability. An additional 442 applicants were refused a visa on health grounds because they had a family member who was unable to meet the health requirement.

The Committee is examining whether decision-makers should be able to take into account a potential migrant’s social and economic contribution as well as anticipated health care costs. For full details of the terms of reference and information on how to make a submission, please visit the Committee website.

The Committee will be holding public hearings for the inquiry on Thursday 12 November in Sydney and Tuesday 1 December in Melbourne. Further dates are also planned for Brisbane and Canberra. People and organisations interested in participating in a public hearing should contact the secretariat.

For media comment, please contact the Committee Chair, Michael Danby MP, on (02) 6277 4520, or the Deputy Chair, Hon Danna Vale MP, on (02) 6277 4866.

For more information and the inquiry terms of reference, visit the inquiry website at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committe...lity/index.htm or contact the Committee Secretariat on (02) 6277 4560 or jscm@aph.gov.au.
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Old 12th October 2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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I have a chronic medical condition and had to jump through a few hoops for my 457 and also for my PR. My PR application took over 6 months. 4 of those were just waiting for an appointment to see the Dr they requested!
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Old 12th October 2009, 03:22 PM   #3
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Please consider making a submission about your experience. The more people who respond the better. The current view of disabilities taken by our immigration department/Medical Officer of the Commonwealth, is too arbitratory and nebulous and grossly discriminatory in many cases.
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Old 26th October 2009, 09:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheelagh Blanckenberg View Post
Please consider making a submission about your experience. The more people who respond the better. The current view of disabilities taken by our immigration department/Medical Officer of the Commonwealth, is too arbitratory and nebulous and grossly discriminatory in many cases.
Sheelagh

You are absolutely right.

I spent six hours this arvo drafting my submission. I have e-mailed the draft to various people and ten minutes ago I forwarded it to Robert Chelliah, to try to get this thing moving.

There have only been two published submissions so far. Hopefully there are more which either haven't been published because they are late submissions or they are submissions for which the authors have requested confidentiality.

Apart from a stipulation that I do not want my home address, e-mail address or phone number published on the Web, I do not intend to request confidentiality.

If you want to read my draft, perhaps Robert will be kind enough to forward my e-mail to you. The rules seem to be that I can circulate the draft for a "sanity check" but that after I send the document to Canberra I cannot then circulate the submitted version to anyone else.

Cheers

Gill
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Deadline for submissions - 28 october 2009
Old 26th October 2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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Default Deadline for submissions - 28 october 2009

The deadline for making a submission is Wednesday 28th October 2009.

Anyone who has had experience in this regard should pleased consider making a submission - it is not difficult. The House of Reps has a great information leaflet on how to make a submission: http://<b> http://www.aph.gov.au/hou.../subs.htm </b>.

On the same webpage you can see two submissions which have already been made. Far more responses than this are needed if changes are to made in this regard. So please take some time to respond.
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Old 27th October 2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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Health Issues for Migration :

As the Schedule 4 is constructed and intepreted now it is :

1. Narrow in its construct and focused solely on medical conditions.
2. The financial and social aspect of the visa applicant with disability or his/her family support is excluded from consideration.
3. The contribution of an applicant with disability is discarded , eg a person with hepatitis B requires medication costing $12,000 per year. She and her husband (nurse and medical doctor on 457) contribute $ 30,000 per year as income tax plus scarce medical services as a nurse and doctor to the community. Visa for PR is likely to be refused.
4. A 90% wheelchair bound applicant has a trust fund of $900,000 plus a door-persons job earning $25,000 per annum. He needs no medical services or treatment nor any medication, he will not be entitled to any public income security or other social or institutional support. He is a net tax paying productive person. Case is currently on appeal to magistartes court.

I can go on. The Inquiry committee just have to click into the MRT and judicial cases on health issues. They need no input from the public as there are thousand of real cases and very sound appeal grounds reflected in each of them.

The health cost to the community is a State cost and not a Federal cost and most States are willing to absorb the cost to support increased population.

Visa refusal for one member is refusal to all family members and this is a great loss to Australia .

Again I can go on.

Robert K Chelliah

Last edited by Migration Help; 27th October 2009 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 27th October 2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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The deadline for the submission is not closed.
House of Representatives
######################
Issued by: House of Representatives Liaison & Projects Office, Tuesday 27 October 2009
Putting a price on disability: Australia’s migration health rules
The Joint Standing Committee on Migration will hear tomorrow (28 October) from Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, who argue that the health requirement that currently applies to Australian visas reflects an outdated view of disability and of the public interest.
Migration Committee Chair, Michael Danby, said that the public hearing is part of the Committee’s current inquiry into the migration treatment of disability. “Disability does not in itself mean that a person or a family will be refused a visa. However, as part of the health test, applicants with a ‘disease or condition’ are assessed on their potential cost and impact on Australian health and community services”.
“The Committee is examining whether decision-makers should be able to take into account a potential migrant’s social and economic contribution as well as anticipated costs,” Mr Danby said.
In a discussion paper published earlier this year, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights suggested that the migration system needs to take a broader view of the value of a potential migrant and their family.
Australia should consider “a shift from an objective economic assessment of a disabled person’s value… to one with a greater focus on their value and contributions to a diverse and progressive society”, it said.
“Some values cannot be expressed in economic terms, such as the quality of a person’s life, relationships and their contribution to Australian society.”
This would be in line with the social model of disability adopted in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with a Disability, which was ratified by Australia last year, as well as the social inclusion agenda being promoted through the development of a National Disability Strategy.
While the formal submission period has closed, the Committee will continue to accept submissions and encourages people with a disability, employers, business organisations, disability and community services providers, and any other interested individuals or organisations to make comment.
The public hearing will commence at 12.30pm in Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra. Visitors are welcome to attend, or you can listen to a live webcast at http://webcast.aph.gov.au/livebroadcasting/.
For media comment, please contact the Committee Chair, Michael Danby MP, on (02) 6277 4520, or the Deputy Chair, Hon Danna Vale MP, on (02) 6277 4866. For more information and the inquiry terms of reference, visit the inquiry website at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committe...lity/index.htm or contact the Committee Secretariat on (02) 6277 4560 or jscm@aph.gov.au.
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Old 27th October 2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting the update Robert - I just logged on to do the same and saw you had beaten me to it!

The webcast should be interesting.
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Old 27th October 2009, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert K Chelliah View Post
Health Issues for Migration :

As the Schedule 4 is constructed and intepreted now it is :

1. Narrow in its construct and focused solely on medical conditons.
2. The financial and social aspect of the visa applicant with disability or his/her famlily support is excluded from consideration.
3. The contribution of applicant with disability is discarded , eg a person contained with hepatitis B requires medication of costing $ 12,000 per year. She and her husband (nurse and mdical doctor on 457) contribute $ 30,000 per year as income tax and plus scarce medical sefrvice as nurse and doctor to the community. Visa for PR is likely to be refused.
4. A 90% wheelchair bound has a trust fund on $ 900,000 plus a door persons job earning $ 25,000 per annum. He needs no medical serv ices or treatment or is any medication, he will not be entitled to any public income security or other social or institutional support. he is a net tax paying productive person. case is currently on appeal to magistartes court.

I can go on. The Inquiry committee just have to click into the MRT and judical cases on health issues. They need no input from public as there are thousand of real cases and very sound appeal grounds reflected in each of them.

The health cost to the community is a State cost and not federal cost and most Sates are willing to absorb the cost to support increased popuklation.

Visa refusal for one member is refusal to all family members and this is a great loss to Australia .

Again I can go on.

Robert K Chelliah
Your points are most valid Robert,thank you.

I also heartily agree with your comment that the committee almost need not look any further other than at cases which have gone to review. All the material they could possibly wish for will be found in these reviews.
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Australian Human Rights Lawyers' Discussion Paper
Old 28th October 2009, 08:48 AM   #10
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Sheelagh

http://www.alhr.asn.au/activities/20...n-matters.html

Above is the link to the ALHR Paper, published in June 2009.

I am just reading it through now, for the first time. It is very powerful and I imagine it will form the core of their oral submission to the Inquiry later today.

It is well worth reading the Discussion Paper.

Cheers

Gill
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