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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1926

(Question No. 4798)

Mr Porter asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 17 October 1986:

What are the reasons for the $13m increase in health program grants under the Health Insurance Act indicated in the 1986-87 Budget.

Dr Blewett —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The increase of $12.766m in the allocation for health program grants in 1986/87 over actual expenditure in 1985/86 is due to:

(a) $666 000 to cover the full year effect of salary and other cost increases as well as the increased costs generated by rising demand for services of the 13 organisations approved for funding prior to 1986/87; namely the eight State and Territory Family Planning Associations, the natural family planning services conducted under the auspices of the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission, the Haymarket Foundation, the Low Vision Clinics in Melbourne and Adelaide, and the Yallourn Medical and Hospital Society.

(b) $1 000 000 for new and expanded family planning services directed primarily at disadvantaged and ``at risk'' groups. The family planning organisations named in (a) above will receive this money.

(c) $500 000 for the first year of a two year evaluation of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging services (NMRI) to be conducted at Royal North Shore Hospital (Sydney), Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane) and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (Perth). $500 000 will be provided in 1987/88.

(d) $10 600 000 for special interim assistance for those religious, charitable or community hospitals which catered for a significant number of uninsured patients before the abolition of Commonwealth bed-day subsidies for private hospitals. It seems likely that less than $2 000 000 will in fact be required. To date $1 424 000 has been paid to ten hospitals with another two applications for assistance still under consideration.