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Tuesday, 26 October 1971
Page: 2489

Dr SOLOMON - I address my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. Is the Minister aware that any claim by a medical practitioner for health insurance reimbursement in respect of treatment given to his own child is disallowed under a ruling of the Department of Health? Is he further aware that this is so even when surgical treatment is involved and the necessity for it occurs in a rural locality well removed from any alternative medical assistance? Will the Minister encourage his colleague in the Senate to review the stringent application of this ruling with the aim of leaving judgment as to the propriety of any claim to the health fund concerned, as is generally the case?

Mr SWARTZ - 1 can recall this matter being raised some years ago when I was Minister for Health. The decision made at that time was that in view of the special circumstances treatment of their own children by medical practitioners would not be recognised under the National Health Act. This matter has been reviewed from time to time but the situation still applies at the present time. I know there are some problems related to rural areas and also when the problem of surgery arises. There are some legal technicalities also associated with the matter of a charge being made for the person himself. However, in view of the fact that the honourable member has raised the matter I will ensure that it is referred to my colleague in another place for consideration.

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