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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr Collard d asked the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   Is Commonwealth and/or fund benefit paid to a person who is a member of a registered medical and hospital benefit fund if that member consults a hospital matron, and perhaps receives treatment, at a country centre where there is no resident doctor?

2.   If no benefit is payable, why is payment denied in such genuine cases?

Dr Forbes - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

Commonwealth medical benefit is not payable in respect of treatment rendered by a hospital matron.

The Commonwealth Medical Benefits Scheme was introduced primarily to assist persons who are insured with registered medical benefit organisations to meet the cost of medical services rendered by registered medical practitioners.

The payment of fund benefit is governed by the rules of the fund with which the patient is insured. Some funds do provide a fund benefit for outpatient treatment at a public hospital. The questions of payment of a fund benefit for such services and the conditions under which such benefit is payable are matters for the individual funds to determine in the light of their rules.

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