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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 839

Mr SHIPTON(12.53 a.m.) —I ask the Minister for Health (Dr Blewett) whether he would state to the Committee that he is prepared to be open-minded and reasonable and take a personal interest in this matter of categorisation in the future. Following his statements concerning specialist psychiatric hospitals , I also ask him whether he would regard specialist surgical, specialist medical , specialist maternity and specialist pediatric hospitals in the same light as he would regard specialist psychiatric hospitals.

I point out to the Committee the position in relation to bush nursing hospitals as I understand it: Everyone without a pensioner health benefit card would pay the levy and would need to pay private insurance. I take that from what the Minister said a few minutes ago. I am prepared to wager with the Minister that the cost of that private insurance is nearer $10 a week than $5 a week, which means that everyone attending a bush nursing hospital will be much worse off and will be paying nearer double what they pay under the present system.