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Monday, 15 October 1973
Page: 2123


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

(1)   What is the intended function of the work preparation centres approved for Melbourne and Sydney to cater for mildly mentally retarded school leavers.

(2)   What categories of staff will be employed at these centres, and in what numbers.

(3)   How many persons is it estimated will attend these centres in the first 3 years of their operation.

(4)   Where will these centres be located.

(5)   What is the estimated annual cost of running these centres.


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

(1)   To provide social and vocational assessment and training designed to prepare mildly mentally retarded school leavers for suitable employment.

(2)   The Melbourne Centre will employ- 1 Sessional Psychiatrist 1 Sessional Clinical Psychologist 2 Sessional Remedial Teachers 1 Executive Officer 1 Social Worker (number of positions will be dependent on the size of the case-load) 1 Senior Vocational Counsellor 1 Welfare Officer 1 Workshop Manager 2 Foremen 4 Instructors 1 Storeman 1 Liaison Officer 1 Clerical Assistant 2 Typists 1 Labourer

The proposed staffing for the Sydney Centre includes - 1 Sessional Medical Consultant 1 Sessional Clinical Psychologist 2 Sessional Remedial Teachers 1 Executive Officer 1 Case Work Coordinator (Psychologist) 1 Social Worker (Number of positions will be dependent on the size of the case-load) 1 Senior Vocational Counsellor 1 Welfare Officer 1 Workshop Manager 2 Foremen 4 Instructors 1 Storeman 2 Clerical Assistants 1 Typist 1 Labourer

(3)   Because of the experimental nature of the project it would be difficult to estimate numbers. The initial case-load will be around Sydney 50, Melbourne 40.

(4)   Initially, at South Yarra, Victoria, and Granville, New South Wales.

(5)   The estimated total annual cost of running both of these centres is approximately $356,000.

Hospital Benefits Funds (Question No. 904)


Mr Scholes (CORIO, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Social

Security, upon notice:

(1)   How many hospital benefits fund contributors are on the special accounts list in each State.

(2)   How many of these contributors are from each fund.

(3)   Are their contributions retained by the fund or paid to the Government.

(4)   What is the annual contribution paid by them.

(5)   What percentage of (a) all hospital benefits fund contributors and (b) hospital benefits fund special account contributors is covered by each hospital benefits fund in each State.

(6)   What requirements must be met before a contributor can be placed on the special account list.

(7)   Does the Government have any check on the inclusion of patients on the special account list.

(8)   What percentage of (a) hospital and (b) medical costs of special account contributors is met by the Government.

(9)   Are persons who are not contributors to health insurance funds and who are chronically ill eligible to receive the same assistance as special account contributors from the Government.


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

(1)   The number of hospital benefits fund contributors in the special accounts of registered organisations in each State as at 30 June 1973 were as follows:

 

(2)   The numbers of these contributors in each fund in the respective States are as follows:

 

 

 

(3)   All contributions paid by fund members who have been transferred to the special account are credited to that account. Benefits paid and an allowance for management expenses are debited to the account and the deficit balance is paid by the Government to the fund. Contributions paid in these cases are thus, in effect, paid to the Government.

(4)   The total annual contribution paid by hospital special account members for the year ended 30 June 1972 was $3,077,242. Figures for the year ended 30 June 1973 are not yet available.

(5)   The percentages of hospital benefits fund contributors and hospital benefits fund special account contributors covered by each hospital benefits fund in each State are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

(6)   The requirements that must be met before a contributor can be transferred to a special account are set out in section 82c of the National Health Act. In effect the section provides in respect of contributors to hospital funds that where a contributor lodges a claim for fund benefit with an organisation and under its rules relating to the eligibility of an ordinary contributor to be paid hospital fund benefit in respect of a chronic illness or a pre-existing ailment or relating to the maximum fund benefit payable to an ordinary contributor in respect of a specified period (as qualified by section 82ca of the National Health Act), the organisation is entitled to disallow the claim or reduce the amount of benefit payable and elects not to pay the full fund benefit in respect of the claim, the organisation shall transfer that contributor to the hospital fund special account.

Where a medical fund ordinary contributor lodges a claim for fund benefit with an organisation and the organisation is under its rules relating to the eligibility of an ordinary contributor to be paid fund benefit in respect of a pre-existing ailment or relating to the maximum fund benefit payable to an ordinary contributor entitled to disallow and does disallow the claim the organisation shall transfer that contributor to the medical fund special account.

(7)   Details concerning contributors transferred to the hospital and medical fund special accounts are advised to the Department by the funds. All transfers are then verified by departmental investigating officers to ensure they are in accordance with approved rules of the funds.

(8)   Details of hospital and medical costs of special account contributors are not known, however, the following information may be of assistance to the honourable member:

(a)   During the year ended 30 June .1972 the operating deficit of $33,656,801 met by the Government in the hospital benefits special account represented 91.62 per cent of benefits payable and management expenses.

(b)   During the year ended 30 June 1972 the operating deficit of $4,200,241 met by the Government in the medical benefits special account represented 66.16 per cent of benefits payable and management expenses.

(9)   No.







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