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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4600

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister representing the. Minister for Health, upon notice:

What has been the (a) date, (b) nature and (c) outcome of any communications between the Commonwealth and any State since May 1970 concerning the cost and method of carrying out the hospital recommendations made by- the Nimmo Committee on 18th March 1969 (Hansard, 3rd May 1971, page 2413).

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

On '24th June 1971, relevant recommendations ' by the Nimmo Committee were discussed at the Australian Health Ministers' Conference, the proceedings of which are generally confidential.

Recommendation 17 by the Nimmo Committee related to honorary and concessional services rendered by the medical profession, including such services rendered in public hospitals. This subject was discussed by Commonwealth and State officers on 23rd July and 24th September 1971. No firm decisions have yet been reached as a result of those discussions.

In its recommendation 7, the Committee proposed that 'the hospital insurance scheme be rationalised by confining benefit tables to 3 benefits each equal to one of the 3 levels of hospital fees in force in each of the States - standard, intermediate and private wards'. This matter was discussed by Commonwealth and State officers on a number of occasions during the period 1st March-1 st October 1971, prior to the restructuring of hospital benefit table's, which was based on recommendation 7.

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