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Wednesday, 3 June 1970


Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

What would be the cost to (a) contributors and (b) the Commonwealth of providing benefits at the level and on the basis (i) recommended by the Nimmo Committee of Inquiry into Health Insurance in March 1969, (ii) adopted by the Standing Committee of the Health Funds and Federal Executive of the Australian Medical Association in July 1969 and (iii) recommended by the Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs in September 1969.


Dr Forbes (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Health) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(i)   the Nimmo Committee did not make any recommendation as to the levels of Commonwealth or fund medical benefits other than to say that benefits should be equal to the amount of the established common fees less a specified amount per service.

(ii)   the plan submitted by the A.M.A. on behalf of the Joint Working Party representing Medical Benefits Organisations and the Australian Medical Association on 25th July 1969 included a number of proposals which at that time were not fully developed. The cost of the plan in the form then presented cannot be determined.

(iii)   the Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs did not make any recommendations as to the levels of Commonwealth or fund medical benefit other than to say that combined Commonwealth and fund benefits should be 90% of the accepted most common fee.

Pensioners: Oxygen-administering Equipment (Question No. 788)


Dr Everingham (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   Is there a need to make oxygen supplies available to pensioners at home to prevent hospitalisation or grave illness.

(2)   If so, will he take action to make these supplies available in these circumstances under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme on the certificate of 2 physicians to the effect that this is necessary.

(3)   Will he consider legislation to make oxygenadministering equipment available in such cases on terms similar to those governing the issue of hearing aids by the Commonwealth.


Dr Forbes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   and (3) The question of making oxygen available as a pharmaceutical benefit, including the provision of oxygen-administering equipment, is currently under consideration by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.







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