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Tuesday, 10 September 1996
Page: 3917

(Question No. 411)

Mr Eoin Cameron asked the Minister for Health and Family Services, upon notice, on 19 June 1996:

(1) How many Medicare offices are there in Australia.

(2) Does the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) (a) decide on the location of each Medicare office and (b) approve the establishment of new offices.

(3) What role does the Government play in determining the location of Medicare offices.

(4) On what basis was the establishment of the Medicare office at Mandurah, WA, approved.

(5) Did (a) he or his predecessor or (b) the HIC receive representations advocating the opening of an office at Mandurah; if so, in each case, (i) on what date and (ii) from whom.

Dr Wooldridge —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) 269

(2)(a) Yes

(b) Yes

(3) None

(4) After considering the potential level of cash claims from the postcode areas surrounding the Mandurah region. Average daily cash claims from the Mandurah office, for the June quarter, were 235.

The city of Mandurah has a population of 34,000 and a growth rate of 6.8%. The nearest Medicare branch offices are at Rockingham (40km) and Bunbury (100km). There is no adequate public transport between Mandurah and these Medicare branch offices. The Health Insurance Commission operates Medicare offices in four other regional towns with similar or less population than Mandurah and with substantially lower growth rates. They are Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie.

(5)(a) Four

(b) Eight

(i) and (ii) I cannot agree to publish the names of those making representations. Correspondence, including representations from both sides of politics as well as business and private sources, was received on the following dates: 17/5/91; 6/5/93; 30/9/93; 3/6/94; 18/7/94; 27/7/94; 23/8/94; 1/12/94; 16/3/95; 22/6/95; 4/7/95; One letter was undated.