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Telephone 'hot-line' service from Monday 3 August 1981



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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SECURITY, SENATOR THE HON. FRED CHANEY, AND THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH, THE HON. M. J. R. MacKELLAR

TELEPHONE ’HOT-LINE1 SERVICE FROM MONDAY 3 AUGUST 1981

The Government's health insurance telephone 'hot-line1 will

come into effect in most areas next Monday, 3 August .(in Victorian

country areas, on Wednesday 5 August).

In a joint statement issued today, the Minister for Social

Security, Senator the Hon. Fred Chaney, and the Minister for

Health, the Hon. Michael MacKellar, said the 'hot-line' service

would enable people in all parts of Australia to seek information

on eligibility for Health Care Cards and on changes to health

insurance arrangements to come into effect on 1 September.

Callers should dial the number listed for their State or

Territory. Country callers would be able.to make a.call for the

cost of a local call. . .

The 'hot-line' service will operate until the end of SeptĀ­

ember between 12 noon and 2 pm each weekday and, in addition,

between 6 pm and 9 pm Monday to Thursday.

Telephones will be manned by officers of the Departments

of Social Security and Health. .

Senator Chaney and Mr MacKellar said the service would be

an important arm of the Commonwealth's publicity campaign which

also included:

. A Press advertising campaign;

. Wide distribution (through Post Offices, doctors' surgeries,

retail pharmacies, offices of health insurance organisations,

private hospitals and Health and Social Security offices) of

a pamphlet, 'In Sickness and in Health . . . better value

for your dollar', prepared by the Department of Health;

. The distribution of special messages to Social Security

beneficiaries; .

. . . / 2

2.

. Seminars to brief welfare workers, hospital administrators,

doctors' receptionists and others who are likely to be

called upon to assist people in special need; and

. Special pamphlets in eight foreign languages and

advertising on ethnic radio. .

The Ministers said a second pamphlet, 'Hospital and Medical

Cover from 1 September 1981', would be available shortly from

public hospitals. .

The telephone 'hot-line* numbers are: . .

. COUNTRY . . METROPOLITAN

NEW SOUTH WALES 008 112 144 290 3844 "

VICTORIA 008 112 144 , 662 3144 (

QUEENSLAND 008 112 144 . NOT ;YET. AVAILABLE

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 008 112 144 223 4249 .

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 008 112 144 322 5533

TASMANIA 008 001 199 . . 34 3627

NORTHERN TERRITORY 813 744 81 3745

A.C.T. 824 666 (ONE NUMBER ONLY)

These telephone numbers, as well as other details of the

'hot-line* service, will be broadcast through radio stations in

all States and Territories commencing Monday, 3 August 1981.

NOTE: Queensland country and metropolitan 'hot-lines' may

not be in operation on 3 August because of the effects of indus- e # \ '

trial action by Telecom workers. Starting dates for these areas

will be publicised separately.

CANBERRA: 31 July 1981