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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1113

Senator BJELKE-PETERSEN —I refer the Minister representing the Minister for Health to recent Press reports that the Government proposes to introduce legislation to withhold Medicare benefits for pathology services carried out without the personal supervision of an approved pathology provider. Is the Minister aware that many country areas are dependent upon private pathology firms for the provision of a fast and efficient pathology service and that there simply are not enough pathologists available to have a resident pathologist in every laboratory? Does this mean that country people will be discriminated against, as this legislation could mean the closure of many of the country pathology branches?

Senator TATE —I regret to say that I have no brief on this matter and I will have to refer it to the Minister for Health.