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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 6315


Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 23 September 2002:

With reference to the answer to question on notice No. 463 (Senate Hansard, 16 September 2002, p.4182):

(1) Can updated figures on the number of reimbursements be provided.

(2) Can the following information be provided for the past month: (a) the reasons for reimbursement; and (b) the number of reimbursements for each of those reasons.

(3) For those reimbursements in the past month relating to Gold Cards being refused: (a) how many doctors; and (b) how many veterans, were involved in those reimbursements.

(4) Can a summary be provided of the electorates in which those veterans receiving reimbursements live.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has provided the following answers to the honourable senator's questions:

(1) The table below shows the total number of medical service reimbursements undertaken by the Department of Veterans' Affairs for the months of June, July and August 2002.

June 2002

July 2002

August 2002

Total

195

165

208

568

Note: The Department of Veterans' Affairs database does not enable ready identification of the reason for reimbursement.

(2) (a) and (b) and (3) (a) and (b) The Department of Veterans' Affairs is unable to advise accurately on the number of reimbursements where doctors have refused to accept veterans treatment cards over the past month as the reason for reimbursement of doctor's fees is not recorded in many cases. Therefore the Department is unable to provide information on the number of veterans or doctors involved in such reimbursements.

There are a number of other reasons for reimbursements to be made, including:

· where veterans do not present their treatment card (ie. where it was forgotten or temporarily lost);

· for medical services provided in the period between the effective date of eligibility to that treatment and the date on which the person was notified of his or her entitlement; or

· various other medical services requiring reimbursement.

(4) This information cannot be provided, as it is not collected.