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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 848

Dr BLEWETT (Minister for Health)(1.59 a.m.) —I have two points to make in relation to the issues that have been raised concerning this clause. The honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton) said it was terrible that people would be able to go to public hospitals free of charge. They will not pay any charge at the point of service but they will all pay levies, and those levies are related to their incomes. Therefore it is not a service provided irrespective of people's means, because those on higher means will be paying a higher levy. In relation to the one question that is answerable at this stage from the honourable member for Bass (Mr Newman) concerning pharmaceuticals, it was one of the points of understanding with the various Ministers that those States-I believe this included Tasmania-which wished to make charges for pharmaceuticals would be free to do so in their public hospital systems.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 66 and 67-by leave-taken together.