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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3019

To the Honourable Speaker and members of the House of Representatives assembled. The petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That many pensioners who are holders of the Pensioners Health Benefit Card, have suffered undue hardship as inmates of private nursing homes, because the Federal Government subsidy was insufficient to meet the charges as laid down.

Many pensioners whose spouse was an inmate of the private nursing homes suffered poverty in an endeavour to sustain their partner while in the nursing home.

Only in rare cases was the statutory minimum patient contribution as laid down adhered to.

That the telephone was a matter of life and death to many pensioners, but because of the cost of installation of the telephone many are unable to afford the installation.

That those pensioners who have only their pension and very little else to live on and are forced to pay high rents, are in many cases living in extreme poverty.

The foregoing facts impel your petitioners to ask the Australian Government as a matter of urgency to-

1.   Make sure that subsidies paid to private nursing homes are such that each pensioner holding a Pensioners Health Benefit Card will pay the private nursing home no more than the statutory minimum patient contribuion, which will allow six dollars per week to be retained by the pensioner patient for their personal use.

2.   That a pensioner holding a Pensioner Health Benefit Card shall have a telephone installed free of charge, or at a very nominal charge.

3.   That those pensioners who have only their pension and very little else to live on, shall receive a subsidy to assist them. The subsidy to be governed by a means test.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. byDr Klugman and Mr Morris.

Petitions received.







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