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Wednesday, 14 October 1964

Senator ANDERSON - The Minister for Repatriation has supplied the following answers - 1 and 2. The "International Classification of Diseases", which had become the widely recognised medical classification for the recording of statistical information, was introduced into departmental medical records in 1959. lt contains over a thousand main disease classifications, and the complexity of converting records and maintaining analyses of all diseases by conventional means can be readily appreciated.

Pending the planned introduction of an automatic data processing system, complete statistics showing the number of ex-servicemen who have applied for a pension entitlement and the number accepted or rejected for each of the disabilities, including cancers, listed in the " International Classification of Diseases", are not available. However, in view of the honorable senator's question, and the general interest in this subject, the Department has undertaken a special survey to obtain the information sought by her in regard to cancers. It is a large project and will take a little time to complete; the information will bo made available as soon as possible.

3.   Whilst the precise cause of cancer is unknown, there is a large and growing body of knowledge about particular types of cancer, including factors which do or do not predispose to many of them and the time they take to develop. Determining authorities have regard to the facts of each claim. If, on all the evidence, they are in no doubt that the cancer was not war-caused the claim te disallowed; if they are left in any doubt, the claim is allowed as required by the Act.

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