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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Dr FORBES - I do not think that I need to add to what I said in answer to the question asked by the honourable member for Henty. The common fees which are in the Schedule attached to the Bill and on which our health benefits plan is based are the fees most commonly charged by doctors for the particular procedures listed in the schedule, whether they are procedures undertaken by specialists or general practitioners. The Australian Medical Association has provided the Government with the information that these are the most common fees charged by doctors, and the Government has accepted that position. As I said earlier I see no reason why, in circumstances where these are the fees most commonly charged and have been defined as common fees, doctors should not continue to charge those fees until such time as there is a revision of fees. One expects that fees will be revised at intervals and that some method of up-dating them will be worked out by the Government and the Australian Medical Association.

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