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, 23 November 1960

Mr ALLAN FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) r asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that when the retirement, on health grounds, of a member of the Public Service is being considered, the recommendation of the Commonwealth Medical Officer is acted upon?

2.   Is it also a fact that the officer concerned is informed of his proposed retirement and is given the right to lodge objections and supporting evidence with the Public Service Board?

3.   If the board, after consideration of the recommendation and the objections, upholds the recommendation, is the officer accordingly retired?

4.   Is it a fact that at no stage has the officer concerned any right of appeal?

5.   Will the appointment of an appeal board be considered?

6.   Is the only course to obtain re-appointment which is now open to such an officer to request the Commonwealth Superannuation Board to arrange a further medical examination, and is this examination also carried out by the Commonwealth Medical Officer?

7.   Is re-appointment then made only if the Commonwealth Medical Officer who made the previous recommendation expresses the opinion that the officer has become fit to resume employment in the Public Service?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   It is the customary practice of the Public Service Board to act on the recommendation of the Commonwealth Medical Officer, and it would be most unusual for it to disregard the Commonwealth Medical Officer's advice. In some cases the opinion of an independent specialist is sought.

2.   Yes, except where the officer is incapable of managing his own affairs.

3.   Yes.

4.   There is no formal right of appeal after the board's decision to retire the officer is taken, but see answers to 1 and 2 above.

5.   No. It is considered that there are adequate safeguards in existing procedures. 6 and 7. In addition to the practice of the Superannuation Board of reviewing all such cases approximately every twelve months, an officer retired on medical grounds may request a further medical examination. Such medical examinations to determine a retired officer's fitness for reemployment are normally carried out by a Commonwealth Medical Officer, but not necessarily by the Commonwealth Medical Officer who examined the officer prior to his retirement.

Charges at Canberra Community Hospital.

Mr J R Fraser ser asked the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   Are charges to be effective as from the 1st February next at the Canberra Community Hospital equivalent to £15 8s. a week for public ward patients, £24 1 7s. a week for intermediate ward patients, and £33 5s. a week for private ward patients?

2.   When this Government came to office in 1949 was treatment in public wards of the Canberra Community Hospital free of direct charge to patients?

3.   Are the proposed intermediate ward charges more than 23 times the rates being charged in 1949?

4.   Are the proposed private ward charges more than eleven times the rates being charged in 1949?

5.   What are the reasons for these vast increases?

6.   Why should hospital charges in the Australian Capital Territory be brought into line with those applying in New South Wales?

Dr Donald Cameron (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes, except for patients in obstetric wards, respect of whom the new charges will not become payable until 1st October, 1961.

2.   Yes.

3.   No. The charge for intermediate ward patients in 1949 was £3 3s. per week.

4.   No. The charge for private ward patients in 1949 was £5 5s.per week.

5.   Increases in charges have been made from time to time to help meet the greatly increased cost of maintaining the hospital.

6.   In fixing the charges a number of factors are taken into account, including the cost of maintaining patients in the hospital and the benefits available to patients under the Commonwealth's hospital insurance scheme. It has been decided that the proposed charges are the most appropriate under present circumstances.

Suggest corrections