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Thursday, 12 November 1964

Senator WILLESEE (Western Australia) . - A thought has crossed my mind in regard to hospital beds. The procedure in respect of medical checkups generally follows a well defined course, whether for people seeking repatriation benefits or for ordinary citizens. The ordinary citizen who goes to his doctor for a checkup is put through a series of tests, such as the barium meal test, and X-rays are taken. In a day or two, he is given the doctor's diagnosis. It seems that people entitled to repatriation benefits are invariably sent to hospital and the same kind of checkup tests take five, six or seven days. Surely this longer period is accounting for a fair degree of this bed occupancy about which the Minister has been speaking and also some of the costs of which Senator Kennelly was so critical earlier today.

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