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Friday, 21 May 1965

Senator ANDERSON - The Minister for Social Services has supplied the following answer to the honorable senator's question -

The conditions governing the payment of invalid pensions are the same for mentally ill persons not in mental hospitals as for other members of the community. The Social Services Act, however, provides for the suspension of pension when an invalid pensioner enters a mental hospital. Successive Commonwealth Governments have always taken the view that the maintenance and care of mentally afflicted persons in State mental hospitals is the responsibility of the respective State Governments. The present Government has not seen fit to depart from this traditional attitude. The authority for the medical and hospital benefits scheme is the National Health Act which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Health, to whom inquiries about the scheme should be directed.

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