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Thursday, 11 November 1948

Mr RANKIN N asked the Minister repre.senting the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   How long has the pharmaceutical benefits plan been in operation?

2.   How much has been paid, to the latest available date, to authorized chemists in respect of prescriptions dispensed under the plan ?

3.   How ninny such prescriptions hare been dispensed?

4.   How many persons are employed by the Government in each State directly and indirectly in connexion with the plan?

5.   What has been the total cost to date of the pharmaceutical benefits section of the department, including salaries, allowances and general expenses?

Mr Holloway (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Since the 1st June, 1948.

2.   The amount paid to approved chemists for .prescriptions dispensed as benefits, to the 31 st October, 1948, is £10,985. (This figure does not include payments to medical practitioners, hospitals and other agencies.)

3.   The number of prescriptions claimed for within that period is 76,293.

a.   Sixty-tiro directly employed. Accounting mid other work associated with the services is performed by the general departmental administration. "). Work preparatory to the introduction of the services commenced in January, 1944. Total cost of the section since that date han hern approximately £65,000.

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