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Wednesday, 13 May 1987
Page: 3142

(Question No. 5033)


Mr Moore asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 17 February 1987:

(1) What sum was (a) collected through the Medicare levy and (b) paid out by Medicare to residents during 1985/86 in the Electoral Division of Ryan.

(2) How does the ratio between these two figures compare to that in other Federal electorates.


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

The Australian Taxation Office advises that collections from Medicare levy in 1985/86 cannot be identified separately from total PAYE and provisional tax collections. However, an estimate has been derived from the 1985/86 income year statistics (the income year and collection year figures are generally compar- able). Estimated Medicare levy collections for 1985/86 for the Electoral Division of Ryan, the State of Queensland and Australia are $10m, $184m and $1335m.

Data on the number of services, fee charged, and Medicare benefit paid to residents of the Electoral Division of Ryan, the State of Queensland and Australia in 1985/86, on a date of service basis are as follows:

Electoral

Division of

Ryan

Queensland

Australia

Number of Services...

649 608

19 592 741

121 935 433

Fee Charged ($)...

17 190 483

448 113 189

2 927 733 205

Benefit Paid ($)...

14 895 744

400 303 762

2 633 883 808

The ratio of Medicare benefits paid (on a date of service basis) to Medicare levy collected for the Electoral Division of Ryan, the State of Queensland and Australia in 1985/86 is as follows:

Electoral

Division of

Ryan

Queensland

Australia

Ratio of benefits paid to levy collected...

1.49

2.18

1.97

It should be noted that there is no direct connection between the Medicare levy and payment of Medicare benefits, for three reasons. Medicare is a national program, so that local variations will be evident as affected by the income levels and tax payments on the one hand and the levels of illness experienced, which are related to socio-demographic factors, on the other. Second, Medicare includes payments to State and Territory Governments in respect of public hospital services. Third, the Medicare levy was never intended to meet the full cost of Medicare. The Commonwealth Government was paying substantial sums in medical benefits and payments to States and Territories for health related purposes before the commencement of Medicare.