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Notice given 28 April 2005

576  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—Can the Minister provide details of expenditure on the Medicare Safety Net as follows:

(1) For the period 1 July 2004 to 31 March 2005: (a) what was the total cost of Commonwealth expenditure on the Medicare Safety Net for eligible Medicare card holders who qualify for the lower threshold; (b) what was the total cost of Commonwealth expenditure on the Medicare Safety Net for eligible Medicare card holders who qualify for the higher threshold; (c) what was the proportion of total Commonwealth expenditure on the Medicare Safety Net in relation to what was spent on: (i) specialist services, (ii) diagnostic services, (iii) General Practitioner services, (iv) pathology services, and (v) other services; and (d) what was the breakdown, by federal electorate, of Commonwealth expenditure on the Medicare Safety Net.

(2) For each of the financial years 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008, what was the projected cost of the Medicare Safety Net prior to the announcement by the Prime Minister on 14 April 2005 that the government intends to increase the thresholds.

(3) In each of the three quarters from 1 July 2004 to 31 March 2005, what was the average percentage by which charges exceeded the schedule fee for: (a) specialist services; (b) General Practitioner services; (c) diagnostic services; and (d) pathology services.