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Friday, 25 September 1970

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

Under existing arrangements with registered (a) hospital and (b) medical benefits organisations, how soon after the end of the financial year is it possible for him to supply information concerning (i) their aggregate reserves at the end of the year and (ii) their operating expenses for the year in answer to questions like my questions Nos 1686 (7) and 1687 (7) (Hansard, 12th September 1969, pages 1322-23).

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

Section 76 of the National Health Act 1953-69 required each registered health benefits organisation to furnish its annual returns to the DirectorGeneral of Health within 3 months after the expiration of the organisation's accounting year or within such further time as the DirectorGeneral, on the application of the organisation, allowed. Organisations did not have a common accounting year. While most organisations operated on an accounting year ending on 30th June, a sizeable minority had a different basis.

Under the National Health Act 1953-70, commencing with the year ending 30th June 1971, all registered organisations must adopt a common financial year ending 30th June so that all annual returns, unless an extension of time is granted, will be submitted by 1st October. From these returns the Director-General will prepare the statutory report required by section 76 (1) of the Act. It is anticipated that this report will be laid before both Houses of Parliament during the subsequent autumn session. These will be the final figures in respect of each registered organisation, but it should be possible to supply reliable preliminary information during December of each year to any honourable member who wishes to have it.

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