Pauline Hanson has demanded Medicare cards carry photographic identification to crack down on 'doctor-shopping' foreign fraudsters.
The One Nation leader urged the Senate to support her private bill on Monday, warning Medicare fraud was costing taxpayers millions.
"It's about time we started to clean up our health act because the cost to the taxpayers is exorbitant, and we can't give the people in this country the decent health care that they need," she told parliament.
The veteran Queensland senator said people from overseas were pulling a "stunt" by applying for refugee status to obtain a bridging visa, allowing them to stay in Australia and commit fraud.
"These people are doctor-shopping. Then they get their scripts filled, take the medication back to their own country and sell it on the black market," she said.
Senator Hanson also took aim at reciprocal arrangements with a slew of European nations including the UK and Ireland which allow people from overseas to access public health care in Australia.
She said Australia was "backwards" when it came to ensuring people needed photo ID.
"Even those people out there who care to wear a burqa should actually show their face on their Medicare card," she told parliament.
Liberal senator Dean Smith said there were adequate measures in place to tackle fraud across government-subsidised health services.
"The government has a keen eye on these sorts of issues but the remedy is not what is being proposed in this particular bill," he told the upper house.
Both major parties warned the One Nation proposal would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, without a proper case being made for the need for photo ID.
Debate on the bill was adjourned.
Australian Associated Press
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