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Monday, 1 June 1998
Page: 4291

Mr LEE (4:16 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr LEE —Yes.

Mr SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr LEE —During question time the Minister for Health and Family Services (Dr Wooldridge) alleged a number of atrocities on my part about expenditure on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. The basis on which I made my public comments was a report issued by the Minister for Health and Family Services entitled Australia's Health 1996 , which contains the following statement:

Pharmaceutical expenditure was influenced by the introduction of a copayment for pensioners, which created some price consciousness among the patients and reduced demand at least in the two years after its introduction. However, copayments do not affect the trends in the underlying demand—

Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member for Dobell is now going way outside a personal explanation.

Mr Reith —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. He is clearly outside the guidelines.

Mr SPEAKER —He is now quite outside the procedures. He will show where he has been personally misrepresented and no more.

Mr LEE —I will just finish with the second half—

Mr SPEAKER —No, you cannot refer to the statement. The member for Dobell cannot read a statement in that way. You show where you have been personally misrepresented and no more.

Mr LEE —I will finish by making it clear that the report released by the minister makes it clear that there was a temporary reduction in the increase in demand and it then resumed as long-term trend.

Mr SPEAKER —You are now debating the subject matter.