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"Whitlam Health Statement Untrue"

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Yesterday's Adelaide statement by Mr. V/hitlam on health was untrue '

in almost every respect, the Minister for Health, Dr. A.J. Forbes, said today.

He said Labour's health scheme would not cost less than the present

scheme. It would cost more. ■ '

• In addition to the proposed Whitlam levy of l^fo on taxable income

(equivalent to an 8$ increase-in personal tax rates), it would cost §104 million

more from General Revenue than the present scheme.

Dr. Forbes said contributions would not be less for the majority of .

contributors, as Mr. Y/hitlam claimed. They would be greater for virtually

every single person and for families in which■there was more than one income ·

earner (since both a husband and working wife would have to pay the Whitlam

levy). Furthermore Labour's health scheme provided for hospital care only to .

public ward standard. Patients requiring a higher standard of care would have

to pay for it directly or take out special health insurance to cover this, cost,

none of which payments would be tax deductible, as at present.

Dr. Forbes said that the cost to the patient under Labour's scheme '

would be very much greater at the point of service for all but the least costly

medical services - unless doctors, as Mr. Whitlam suggested'they should, agreed

to accept 85/ of their standard fee in full settlement of their accounts.

"What a ludicrous proposition, to suggest that they would be prepared

to. do so", Dr. Forbes, said-. ■ ' ' . · ·

12/ 11/70