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question about the health waiver process
Old 17th February 2011, 07:25 AM   #1
3rdworldozzie
 
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Default question about the health waiver process

Hi all!

We have just received a fairly insane health waiver costing advice from the MOC. The number they've given us is sky-high compared with what we were thinking it would be following some intense research.

We reckon the MOC made a mistake.

Who do we talk to about getting the number reviewed (no, not an RMOC, just someone who can confirm that the number stated is the number that the MOC actually put down intentionally)?
Should we try to get in touch with the Health Operations Centre direct?

Is it possible to get a cost breakdown of the costing advice nowadays? Used to be in the past...

Thanks for all your help, and thanks for a great forum!
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Old 17th February 2011, 04:25 PM   #2
Robert K Chelliah
 
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In Australia most health conditions have associations and support groups. These associations provide more accurate reports and calculations on cost of treatment. They also recommend specialists who are more supportive of those with medical conditions. Find the website of the relevant association and make contact with them.

The figures provided by these associations/self-help groups are usually accepted by the MOC.

The only appeal against the disparity would be merit review (MRT) or judicial review in the courts. Before going down that path you can certainly write to the MOC and provide your own costing and basis upon which you arrived at those figures.

Cheers
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Old 17th February 2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum 3rdworldaussie - glad you like it!

Sorry to hear of the predicament you are in. You are in for a bit of a battle unfortunately.

To add to Robert's post, under the regulations the MOC's opinion must be taken as correct by the case officer. It is not open to officers to dispute or "review" the MOC's opinion. If other medical opinions are received however, these can and should be referred to the MOC for comment.

Therefore, if you believe the MOC figures are right out of the ball park and may be due to error, it would be worth getting in touch with your case officer outlining your concerns and presenting them with the alternate evidence you have. The officer is required to pass this extra information on to the MOC for consideration.

Guidance on the financial implications and consideration of prejudice of access to services are available for certain medical conditions. These include:
  • Endocrine conditions
  • Human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
  • Ophthalmological conditions
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Rheumatological conditions
  • Tuberculosis
  • Viral hepatitis conditions
  • Medical oncology
MH
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Old 17th February 2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Many thanks for that, Robert and MH.

I'll get in touch with the relevant groups right now.

MH, do you have a link you can share with me for this "guidance" information you have described at the bottom of your post or is there some other way to access this information?

Thanks again.
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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No publicly available links as such unfortunately.

However, the information can be accessed via LEGENDcom the immigration department's electronic database of migration and citizenship legislation and policy documents which is available to members of the public on a subscription basis. An annual subscription currently costs AUD1,340.

LEGENDcom can also be accessed for free via certain public libraries in Australia. Perhaps you have family or friends who can research for you?

Registered Australian Migration Agents all have access to LEGENDcom as part of their registration requirements so that is another avenue of access you can explore.

MH
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for that, MH.
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:55 PM   #7
Sheelagh Blanckenberg
 
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Hi 3rdworldozzie

Welcome to the forum.

It is quite crazy actually that such policy documents are not openly available to the public. The A$1,340 subscription fee to access what is after all the interpretation of Australian law pertaining to the immigration portfolio just adds insult to injury in my humble opinion.

Sorry. Off my soapbox.

If you dont mind me asking, what medical condition are you concerned about?

Kind regards

Sheelagh
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Old 18th February 2011, 01:06 AM   #8
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Hi Sheelagh,

Yes, the cost is ridiculous and prohibitive, and unfortunately, I can't get anyone in Australia to do my homework at the library for me.

The health issue in question is one of the nasties listed by MH above, but not TB (as that is not even subject to a waiver!).

These issues seem to have all been dealt with by the parliamentary inquiry, but no changes afoot at DIAC, it seems....
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Old 18th February 2011, 02:31 AM   #9
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Hi 3rdworld

One starting point could be the free information available on "AustLiiDatabases". This database contains all the merit review and court cases where Visa refusal on account of MOC's opinions are discussed. The medical condition which is the subject of your issue would certainly have been rebutted and explored in any of the MRT or federal court cases. You will find in these MRT and court cases the arguments would have centred around whether the MOC's opinion had been arrived at with proper consideration to all the relevant facts. One cannot challenge the medical opinion of the MOC, but the process the MOC had adopted in arriving at his opinion is challengeable, under what they call "jurisdictional error" or flawed process in arriving at a statutory binding decision.

In the late 70s when I entered the migration profession the only medical condition that was not totally acceptable were sightless (blind) applicants. Things have changed since then and many applicants with even worse medical conditons have been able to get the MOC to change his opinion. It all depends on the cost, prognosis, and the personal characteristics of the visa applicant.

According to Schedule 4, the two factors, cost to the community and use of scarce medical resources, are the most common ground of refusal. if these factors can be argued with actual costs and good prognosis you might have some grounds for the MOC to change is opinion. You need the support (reports) of renowned specialists who can give a supportive but balanced opinion.

Cheers
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Old 18th February 2011, 03:49 AM   #10
Sheelagh Blanckenberg
 
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The parliamentary enquiry has been just that - an enquiry. Who knows if any of the recommendations will ever be taken on board. I am not holding my breath.

Besides the AUSTLii database Robert has mentioned, if you let me know the actual condition with which you are dealing, I would be happy to wade through the MOC guidance notes for any information which may be of use to you.

Kind regards
Sheelagh
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