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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Mr FOX (HENTY, VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for Health whether he is aware that a great many people mistakenly believe that if the National Health Bill becomes law they will never have to pay, in any circumstances, more than $5 for even the most complicated operation. Will he make it perfectly clear that this could apply only where the doctor concerned charged for the particular operation or service the common fee which is set out in the Schedule to the Bill? Will he make it perfectly clear that unless the legislation was based on the principle of a common fee the taxpayer would be called upon to make up the difference between $5 and whatever amount, however unreasonable, the doctor saw fit to charge? Finally, will he make it clear that the fixing of a common fee will not prevent anyone from consulting any doctor he chooses providing he is willing to pay in addition to $5 the difference between the common fee and that charged by the doctor?

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