Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 5 May 1920

Only mental and tubercular cases are, in future, to be dealt with at No. 16 Australian General Hospital, Macleod. Otherwise the hospital is to be closed. The acute mental cases will be transferred eventually to the State asylums for the insane.

I would like to see the word " hospitals " used instead of " asylums." I object to the use of the word " asylums " in regard to the sheltering of soldiers or any others.

The Base Hospital, St. Kilda-road, is being used for out-patients exclusively, and inpatients are received at the Caulfield Military Hospital.

A scheme is on foot which will provide for the closing of all military hospitals in a few months. It is proposed that the Repatriation Department shall accept the responsibility of caring for the patients after they have been discharged from the Australian Imperial Force. Should this proposal be adopted by the Cabinet, the patients, as civilians, will enter ordinary public hospitals, their maintenance to be a charge upon tho Repatriation Department. The distribution of the patients among public hospitals would result in a considerable saving, and men could be attended to in their own districts, and, therefore, be in close touch with relatives.

I take no exception to the arrangements there referred to, but I do object to what I understand is being done at the Austin Hospital, where, I am informed, forty civilian patients have been turned out of the Kronheimer wing and fifty-six returned soldiers put in their place. On this subject the following letter has been sent to me: -

In reference to a scheme being on foot to close military hospitals in a few months, and a proposal to absorb the patients in the ordinary way as civilians in public hospitals, such patients to be a charge on' the Repatriation Department, and such scheme to depend on adoption by the Federal Government, I beg to inform you, and incidentally the public, and also the Federal Government, that the scheme referred to has taken very definite shape, and lias been on foot for the last four months. At the Austin Hospital on the day ( Sth April ) the paragraph appeared in the Herald announcing the proposal, the whole of a large ward containing forty beds in the Kronheimer wing for consumptives in this hospital was handed over by the Committee to the Repatriation .Department, we presume at so much per head.

It must be very distressing to soldiers, even though their cases may be incurable, to be sent to a place like the Austin Hospital. Furthermore, a wrong is done to the civilian tubercular sufferers in the State when they are prevented from going to the Austin Hospital because the accommodation there has been taken for soldier patients. Some honorable members know how difficult it is to get patients into that hospital. I have known persons to wait for months, and even years, to get in. The action to which I refer will increase the difficulty of getting a bed in the hospital.

Sir Robert Best - What has become of the forty civilian patients who have been turned out of the hospital ?

Suggest corrections