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Enquiry on doctors' fees



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COMMONWEALTH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

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16/79

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH, MR RALPH HUNT

ENQUIRY ON DOCTORS' FEES

The Minister for Health, Mr Ralph Hunt, today announced ·

the appointment of Mr Justice J. T. Ludeke to conduct an enquiry

on medical fees.

Mr Hunt said the enquiry would determine fees which would

apply for the purposes of medical benefits from 1 November 1979

to 31 October 1980.

Mr Hunt said the establishment of the enquiry followed .

the Government's acceptance of the offer by the Australian-

Medical Association to defer the matter of a variation in

medical fees until 1 November 1979? provided an enquiry was

established in early 1979. The AMA proposal that the terms

of reference would provide for consideration of movements in

economic indicators or factors since 30 September 1977 (that

is, since the 1977 enquiry) was also accepted.

Mr Hunt said the AMA had agreed to participate in an

enquiry conducted by Mr Justice Ludeke, and had been fully

associated with the preparation of the terms of reference.

While the proceedings of the enquiry would be held in private,

Mr Justice Ludeke's report would be released publicly as soon

as possible after it had been received by the Government. The

report is expected to be presented by 30 June 1979, or earlier

if possible.

Mr Hunt said that if Mr Justice Ludeke determined that

fees for medical benefits purposes should be altered, the .

Government would take all possible steps to implement the new

fees from 1 November 1979·

Mr Justice Ludeke is a Deputy President of the Australian

Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. He chaired the Medical

Fees Tribunal in 1973» and conducted the 1977 enquiry. · *

CANBERRA: 1 March 1979