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Friday, 3 December 1976

Dr CASS (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) - I preface my question, which is directed to the Minister for Health, by reminding him that legislation designed to implement the recommendations of the Whalan Committee of Inquiry into the Protection of Privacy and introduced by my colleague, the honourable member for Oxley, lapsed in November 1975. Is the Minister aware that the General Manager of the Hospital Benefits Association of Victoria stated on 25 November that contributors to private health insurance funds presently have to rely on the 'good faith' of the administrators of these funds not to divulge confidential medical and financial information about their members? As the Liberal and National Country Parties in the past have expressed deep concern about this matter- in particular the former AttorneyGeneral, the late Senator Greenwood, in February 1975 warned of the dangers of the misuse of private information- can the Minister ex- plain to the House why complementary legislation has not been introduced by the Government in order to protect the interests and privacy of private health insurance contributors?

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