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Thursday, 14 October 1971
Page: 2457


Mr Hayden (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   When was the 80 cents Commonwealth daily bed subsidy for public hospitals first introduced.

(2)   How many public hospital patient bed days were remunerated at the 80 cents Commonwealth daily bed subsidy in each State and Territory and the Commonwealth for the latest year for which figures are available.

(3)   What was the total amount paid out.

(4)   What was the average per patient bed day cost for public hospitals in Australia (a) for that year and (b) when the 80 cents Commonwealth subsidy was first introduced.

(5)   Can he give similar details In relation to the payment of the (a) $2 a day Commonwealth bed subsidy and (b) $5 a day Commonwealth bed subsidy for pensioners.


Mr Swartz - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question.

(1)   1948.

 

(3)   1970-71 : $1,107,000.

(4)   and (5) (Average cost per patient bed day only) - The most comparable figures available for the period for which Information has been requested regarding the average cost per patientday in each State and Territory are those derived from the Commonwealth Year Books relating to public hospitals and nursing homes. The latest year for which figures are available from the Commonwealth Year Book is 1967-68. The table below shows average cost per occupied bed day in public hospitals and nursing homes for 1948, the year in which the 80 cents daily Commonwealth hospital benefit was first introduced; 1958, the year in which the $2 per day Commonwealth hospital benefit for insured patients was introduced; 1967, the year in which the rate of Commonwealth hospital benefit for pensioner patients was increased to $5 per day; and for 1968, the latest year for which figures are available.

 

(5)   (a) (i) The $2 per day Commonwealth Hospital benefit for insured patients was introduced in 1958.

(ii)   During 1970-71, Commonwealth Hospital benefits were paid in respect of insured patients for the following numbers of patient/days:

 

Notes- The numbers of patient/days in respect of which Commonwealth hospital benefits are paid to insured patients are not dissected between public hospitals and other approved hospitals, respectively. The above figures therefore relate to all approved hospitals, rather than to public hospitals only.

For the majority of patient/days shown above, Commonwealth benefits were paid at the usual rates of $2 per day for insured patients. However, because of such factors as the application of waiting periods after joining a hospital benefits organisation, some insured patients whose hospitalisation is included in the above figures received Commonwealth benefits at the uninsured rate of 80 cents per day.

(iii)   During 1970-71, payments of Commonwealth hospital benefits in respect of insured patients (usually at the rate of $2 per day) totalled $22,319,000 (approximately).

(5)   (b) (i) The current Commonwealth hospital benefit rate of $5 per day for pensioner patients in public hospitals was introduced in 1967.

(ii)   During 1970-71, Commonwealth hospital benefits for pensioner patients in public hospitals were paid in respect of the following numbers of patient/days:

 

(iii)   During 1970-71, payment of Commonwealth hospital benefits in respect of pensioner patients (usually at the rate of $5 per day) totalled $23,555,000.







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