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Friday, 3 December 1976


Mr Neil asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice:

(   1 ) How many people of Lebanese origin are estimated to reside in (a) Australia, (b) New South Wales, (c) Sydney and (d) the Electoral Division of St George.

(2)   How many visas were issued to Lebanese people for permanent residence in Australia between 1 January 1976 and 30 June 1976.

(3)   How many applications for permanent residence from Lebanese people were outside normal immigration guidelines between 1 January 1976 and 30 June 1976.

(4)   How many of the applications referred to in part (3) were approved for admission.


Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a) Based on the 1971 Census figures and allowing for subsequent arrivals and natural increase as a result of birth of children in Australia it is estimated that there were about 53 000 people of Lebanese descent in this country as at 30 January 1976.

(b)   Census statistics are the only source of information regarding internal population movement. As at 30 June 1971, 79 per cent of Lebanese born people in Australia resided in New South Wales.

(c)   As at 30 June 1971, 97 per cent of the Lebanese population of New South Wales lived in the metropolitan area.

(d)   No statistics are available in respect of the number of Lebanese people living in the Electoral Division of St George.

(2)   1224 persons were included in migrant visas granted to Lebanese people at Australian posts in the Middle East and adjacent countries during the period 1 January 1976 to 30 June 1976.

(3)   As a result of the adverse conditions and limited staff available in Beirut between 1 January 1976, and 28 March 1976, when operations in the Lebanon were suspended, no statistical records were maintained of applications received from Lebanese people during that period. From 1 April 1976 to 30 June 1976, applications covering 3450 persons were received by other posts in the Middle East and adjacent countries. Separate figures relating to applications outside normal policy are not maintained.

(4)   Details of applications approved outside normal policy requirements are not maintained. During the period 1 January 1976, to 30 June 1976, visas were granted to 1224 Lebanese people at Australian posts in the Middle East and adjacent countries. A large number of these would have received special consideration outside policy on compassionate grounds.

Aged Patients in Nursing Homes (Question No. 1217)


Mr Stewart asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(   1 ) How many (a) males and (b) females over 70 years of age are permanent patients in nursing homes.

(2)   What is the cost to the Government in maintaining these patients in nursing homes.

(3)   What subsidies and/or concessions are granted to these nursing homes.

(4)   Are similar subsidies and/or concessions granted to a person who cares for a chronically ill relative at home; if not, why not


Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Statistics as to the number of persons aged 70 years and over who are permanent patients in nursing homes are not available to my Department. It is estimated that as at 30 June 1976 there were approximately S3 000 persons accommodated in nursing homes throughout Australia.

(   2 ) The total cost to the Government for the year ended 30 June 1976, in the form of nursing home benefits under the National Health Act and amounts paid under the Nursing Homes Assistance Act was $ 195.7m. A further $2 1.6m was paid by the Department of Veterans' Affairs in respect of nursing home patients receiving financial assistance under the provisions of the Repatriation Act.

(3)   The following amounts are payable in respect of persons accommodated in nursing homes.

(a)   Nursing Home Benefits Under the National Health Act

(i)   ordinary nursing home care benefit- payable at the rate of $3.50 a day in respect of all patients accommodated in approved nursing homes;

(ii)   supplementary intensive nursing home care benefitpayable (in addition to the ordinary nursing home care benefit) at the rate of $3.00 a day in respect of patients who need and receive intensive nursing home care;

(iii)   additional nursing home benefit- payable by my Department in respect of nursing home patients who are Australian residents and who either pay the Medibank health insurance levy or who are exempt from payment of the levy on grounds other than that of being appropriately privately insured. This benefit is payable in addition to either one or both of the foregoing benefits as may be appropriate. The rate at which this benefit is payable varies between States. Currently the rates of additional benefit payable are:

 

As recently announced these rates will be increased by $2 a day in each State from 1 5 December 1976;

(b)   Deficit Financing Arrangements Under the Nursing Homes Assistance Act

The Nursing Homes Assistance Act provides for a system of financing of the deficits incurred by approved nursing homes operated by religious and charitable organisations or other non-profit organisations.

This form of assistance is an alternative to the payment of nursing home benefits under the National Health Act and proprietors of nursing homes which participate under the deficit financing arrangements forgo the patient benefits provided under that Act.

(c)   Nursing Home Benefits under the Repatriation System

Nursing home care is provided to three broad groups of Repatriation patients:

(i)   those who require care for a disability related to war service for whom the Department of Veterans' Affairs pays the total fee.

(ii)   veterans receiving- the Special Rate pensions for total and permanent incapacity, tuberculosis, blindness or certain amputations the Intermediate Rate pension, including that for tuberculosis veterans of the Boer War and 1914-18 War (including nursing sisters) veterans who are ex-prisoners-of-war veterans suffering from cancer; in respect of treat ment for that condition only war widows, widowed mothers and invalid children of deceased veterans

Patients in these categories must contribute towards the cost of their care. The amount of that contribution is currently $4 1 . 30.

(iii)   Service Pensioners nursing home care for this group of Repatriation pensioners is not available under Repatriation arrangements but is provided by the Department of Health under the provisions of the National Health Act and Nursing Homes Assistance Act.

(4)   There is a form of assistance which is payable by the Australian Government directly to a person who cares for a chronically ill aged relative at home. This is the Domiciliary Nursing Care Benefit which is payable at the rate of $2 a day ($14 a week) to persons caring for a relative, aged 65 years or more, who because of his medical condition requires professional nursing care to an extent that would otherwise justify admission to a nursing home.

There are also various subsidies, such as the delivered meals subsidy and the home nursing subsidy, which are paid to organisations providing supportive services to elderly persons in a domestic situation. These subsidies are not payable direct to a person who cares for an aged relative at home and I have therefore not provided details. However, further information in that regard will be supplied to the honourable member if required.

Standing Committee on Road Safety:







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