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Wednesday, 13 May 1970

Dr JENKINS (Scullin) -I move:

That the following new clause be inserted in the Bill: "20a. Section 46 of the Principal Act is repealed and the following section inserted in its stead:-

46.   Where a person receives hospital treatment in an approved hospital, there is payable Commonwealth benefit of Two dollars for each day.'.".

This is a hangover from the time when hospital treatment in Australia was free. In 1948 80c was payable for every bed day. The patient was subjected to no means test and no charge. Subsequently, in order to advance the voluntary insurance scheme, a so-called incentive of $2 a day for voluntarily insured patients was introduced by the Government. As mentioned by the honourable member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron) recently, the Queensland hospital system has been able to exist while supplying free public ward accommodation.

The CHAIRMAN - Order!I point outto the honourable member for Scullin that the amendment he has moved is out of order. The time allotted for consideration of the Bill to the end of clause 21 has expired.

Mr Hayden - May I ask for your direction, Mr Chairman? As amendments Nos 16, 17 and 18 in the Opposition's circulated list will not even be aired in this chamber is there any way in which we can take the opportunity of raising them?

The CHAIRMAN - Those amendments will be dealt with next. The last amendment dealt with was amendment No. 15 which was moved by the honourable member for Scullin. The immediate question is: That clause 2 1 be agreed to.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Proposed new clause 2 1a.

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