In Estimates I asked Services Australia why they are overriding the expert opinion of specialists who have diagnosed vaccine injuries.
It turns out they are referring to doctors who aren’t specialists and who haven’t actually diagnosed the patient.
Aside from the lack of expertise, the TGA should not be allowed to make this call due to the conflict of interest they have in covering up their mistakes.
The corruption and gaslighting needs to end.
Community Affairs Legislation Committee – 25/10/2023
Estimates – SOCIAL SERVICES PORTFOLIO
Department of Social Services
Senator RENNICK: I have been contacted by a number of specialists who have completed vaccine injury claims. They have said that the patients were injured by the COVID-19 vaccine. The patients lodged their vaccine injury claim with Services Australia. Services Australia denied the claim. These specialists are very frustrated because they’ve gone to a lot of work to assess these injuries only to have non-medical people in Services Australia deny those claims. Have you got anything to say to that?
Mr Birrer: I will turn to Ms Faichney, who is the deputy CEO who runs that. I would point out that we’re administering the scheme. The policy settings for the scheme are set by the Department of Health and Aged Care—
Senator RENNICK: I understand that.
Mr Birrer: so the overall policy premise is with them.
Senator RENNICK: I understand that. That is the issue. The people denying these claims in Services Australia aren’t medical. It’s the administration side of it, not the health settings. I have spoken to specialists and doctors who have been involved with the government on this compensation scheme. They are the ones who have contacted me. Their gripe is with Services Australia and the administration of it, not the actual settings. There are two separate issues.
CHAIR: Senator Rennick, can you pose it as a question just to enable officials to respond?
Senator RENNICK: There is the issue of the settings and whether or not you are going to recognise an injury. These are recognised injuries that have been determined by the specialists and Services Australia have said, ‘We’re not going to recognise the specialist’s opinion.’
Mr Birrer: I’ll pass to Ms Faichney and Mr Moon about how we administer this scheme.
Ms Faichney: Yes, as mentioned, the Department of Health and Aged Care has the policy side. While we have the administrative side and we do check that the claims put forward are aligned to the conditions and the vaccines that are put in that policy, we also have the ability to send it to medical experts, so we don’t necessarily make a decision on the person not based on medical experts.
Senator RENNICK: So if the injured person has a medical expert, why are you going to another medical expert?
Ms Faichney: It’s a requirement of the policy to ensure that the claims being put forward are peer reviewed; I suppose that is the term I would use.
Senator RENNICK: You are basically using your own experts, which I suggest you are paying. Are you paying them?
Ms Faichney: No. These are part of the Therapeutic Goods Administration through the Department of Health and Aged Care.
Senator RENNICK: They are going back to experts in the TGA, who are now overriding specialists who actually assess the patient first-hand?
Ms Faichney: I don’t know if they are overriding so much as providing their medical opinion as to whether the conditions meet the policy. If the conditions don’t meet the policy—
Senator RENNICK: How can they provide a comprehensive medical opinion if they haven’t diagnosed the patient personally?
Ms Faichney: Because they do it on the evidence put forward in the claim.
Mr Birrer: Senator, we’re not making a medical opinion. We’re administering the scheme.
Senator RENNICK: I get that. But the whole fact that you are going off to people employed by the TGA, who have a vested interest in covering up the fact that they didn’t test this vaccine or they don’t want to admit that there’s injuries, isn’t that a conflict of interest?
Mr Birrer: Senator, that’s not a question for us.
Ms Faichney: You would need to raise that with the Department of Health and Aged Care.
Senator RENNICK: I will do that.
CHAIR: We will be back with health tomorrow.
Senator RENNICK: Thank you.
CHAIR: We’ll see you there.
Senator RENNICK: Yes, you will.