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Thursday, 12 November 1959

Mr REYNOLDS (Barton) .- If the determining factor in deciding whether a patient is to be paid is the condition of the patient, then I would be very interested to know whether senility, a fairly common complaint or condition of aged persons, is likely to be accepted. I would suggest to the Minister - although I am sure he already knows it - that there is a heavy burden on many young people who are trying to set up their own families while maintaining in hospitals for long periods parents or relatives who are afflicted with this kind of condition. I ask whether senility will be accepted for treatment under the provisions of the legislation.

I refer also to persons covered by the pensioner medical service who have to enter private hospitals because they cannot gain admission to public hospitals. These persons would be entitled to free public ward treatment in the public hospitals, and I suggest that they should be given, as a kind of subsidy, an amount equivalent to the cost of the public ward treatment they would have received if they had been able to gain admission to a public hospital. I shall be glad if the Minister will give attention to these matters.

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