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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1842


Mr Bourchier asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   Are claimants for home nursing benefits required to fill in a form and have the form certified by a doctor and a registered nurse.

(2)   If so, is it a fact that in many areas there is no domiciliary nursing service available to provide house calls and, therefore, claimants cannot complete the form.

(3)   If the position is as stated, has bis Department provided an alternative procedure to enable persons in these areas to receive the benefits.

(4)   Will he ensure that benefits are granted to such applicants where the doctor can give an assurance that the patient is in need of nursing care and can confirm that such service is not available.


Mr Hayden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes, but I wish to emphasise that the conditions and procedures for determining eligibility for the domiciliary nursing care benefit were framed by the previous Government. They are contained in the National Health Act 1972 introduced by that Government in the 1972 Budget Session of Parliament.

(2)   It is true that a domiciliary nursing service is not available in all areas. However, the services of any registered nurse are acceptable for the purpose of the domiciliary nursing care benefit as it is not a requirement that the nurse has to be a member of a home nursing organisation.

(3)   The domiciliary nursing care benefit is being paid in respect of chronically ill aged persons who would otherwise qualify for nursing home benefits. Accordingly, under the provisions of the National Health Act, the patient must, because of his disability, be in need of continuing professional nursing care and receive such care on a regular basis from a registered nurse.

(4)   The present Government endorsed the concept of a domiciliary nursing care benefit and therefore arranged for the proclamation of the National Health Act 1972 so that payment for benefits could commence on 1st March 1973. However, it does not necessarily endorse the specific details relating to the payment of the benefits and therefore will be reviewing the conditions applying to the payment of the benefit. The position of sick aged living in areas where no nurses are available will be examined in the course of this review.







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