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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1926

(Question No. 4781)


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

(1) How many persons covered by Medicare were (a) pensioners and their dependants, (b) concessional health care card holders and their dependants, (c) non-levy paying Medicare card holders and (d) levy paying Medicare card holders in 1985.

(2) What are the projected corresponding figures for these categories in 1986.

(3) Is the proportion of the population represented by these categories remaining relatively constant from year to year.

(4) In which categories has the proportion of the persons covered by Medicare increased since 1 July 1983 and what has been the increase in the number of persons in those categories.


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

(1) to (4) Under Medicare, all Australians are entitled to protection against the costs of health care without discrimination on the basis of whether they hold entitlements to Social Security benefits. This is a basic principle of Medicare. Because of this, claims statistics do not include the classification of people into various Social Security entitlement categories or whether or not a Medicare levy is paid.

However, the following figures have been supplied by the Department of Social Security on numbers of persons covered by various entitlement categories:

June

1985

June

1986

Pensioners and Dependants:

With PHB Card...

2,211,232

2,226,437

Without PHB Card...

340,561

356,137

Total...

2,551,793

2,582,574

Health Benefit and Health Care Cardholders and Dependants...

1,275,910*

1,271,275*

The Department of Social Security has advised that it does not prepare projections of numbers of card holders.

*Certain categories of Health Benefit and Health Care Cardholders and Dependants counted as at 17 May 1985 and 23 May 1986 respectively.