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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 814

Dr BLEWETT (Minister for Health)(10.10) —I will respond briefly to the points made by the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton). First of all, I think it should be pointed out that these decisions have been developed in co- operation with the States and are really part of the arrangements with each State government. In fact most of the State Ministers were eager for us to move in this direction and the guidelines have been developed in co-operation with them. It is not the intention that they be formed in regulations because it is part of the co-operation with the State health Ministers, who have a direct relationship with the doctors concerned in this case. That answers the first point that the honourable member raised.

Secondly, on my odd notions about the medical profession in this field, I have relied very much on guidance from the State health Ministers, both in drawing up these guidelines and in gaining information about the services performed. I think that the honourable member for Mackellar ignored the relationship, for instance, between radiographers and radiologists. Much of the radiologists' work is interpreting what is being done by radiographers, so the relationship I talked about seems to apply to radiologists and, honourable members opposite admit, to pathologists. It may not be applicable to a couple of other groups. Finally, I assure the honourable member for Mackellar, although he may be upset by this, that these provisions also include visiting specialists, although, of course, they are somewhat different.