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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1498

Dr Klugman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   ls it a fact that the Medicheck Referral Centre in Sydney will open in mid 1971 as part of the Tyree Foundation.

(2)   Is he able to say whether most patients referred to this centre will undergo, as routine, the following tests: (a) a computerised medical questionnaire, (b) extensive biochemistry (multiphasic), (c) full haematology, (d) spirometry, (e) urine analysis, (f) audiometry, (g) tonometry, (h) visual acuity, (i) chest X-ray, (j) electrocardiography, (k) blood pressure, (I) thermography for cerebro-vascular disease and, in the case of females, (m) mammary thermography, (n) mammography and (o) exfoliative vaginal cystology.

(3)   If the tests are taken, will patients be eligible for Commonwealth and fund benefits for these tests.

(4)   What refund will New South Wales patients be entitled to for each of these services.

Dr Forbes - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   and (4) Members of registered medical benefit organisations are eligible for Commonwealth medical benefits for those services at the Centre which are professional medical services within the meaning of the National Health Act. For example, a chest X-ray would attract benefits while a computerised medical questionnaire would not. Payment of fund benefit is dependent upon the rules of the particular medical benefits organisation and it is expected that, in some cases, the application of these rules will exclude payment of fund benefit. The Centre proposes to issue accounts charging an overall fee for the particular series of tests undertaken. It will itemise services on these accounts according to whether fund benefit is payable and provide for a balance to be payable by the patient in each case. This means the accounts rendered to patients who are members of organisations paying fund benefits will not be itemised so as to specify separately the full range of medical services actually undertaken, lt is pointed out that, in no case, can the combined benefits exceed the charge payable and that provision for a payment by the patient is in accordance with the general approach adopted under the Medical Benefits Scheme.

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