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Wednesday, 10 May 1961

Mr Reynolds s asked the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   Has the Government investigated charges made by the Australian .Optometrical Association that illegal claims for Commonwealth health benefits are being made and paid in respect of the prescription of glasses by eye doctors; if not, why not?

2.   Is it a fact that a doctor is not required to state on his receipt that he prescribed glasses for the patient?

3.   Will the Government give immediate consideration to bringing the services of optometrists under the national health scheme?

Dr Donald Cameron (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   My department has made a thorough examination of the association's charges and I am satisfied that all practicable steps are taken to prevent incorrect payments of Commonwealth medical benefits.

2.   Yes, but such statements are not necessary for implementation of an effective checking procedure.

3.   The Government has the national health scheme continually under review, but it does not propose at this stage to include optometrical services.

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