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Notice given 25 September 2002

693  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs—

(1) With reference to the answer to a question asked at an estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on 4 June 2002, concerning the monopoly of hospital services to veterans in the Perth metropolitan area: Did the President of the Repatriation Commission express the view that the contract with Ramsay Health Care did ‘not provide a sole provider status to Ramsay health care’; if so, what consideration has the commission given to the extension of tier-one hospitals to additional providers in the Perth and Brisbane metropolitan areas.

(2) Are Perth and Brisbane the only cities in which exclusive coverage of veterans by tier-one health care hospitals has been effectively given to former repatriation hospitals.

(3) Have discussions with Ramsay Health Care included any suggestion that other tier-one hospitals be contracted; if so, what was its reaction.

(4) What discussion has the commission or the department had with the ex-service community in Perth and Brisbane to ascertain their views on the extension of tier-one hospitals in those cities.