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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1357

Senator MULVIHILL asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

(1)   Does the Department of Immigration utilise the services of only one doctor to medically examine intending migrants to Australia from the town of Messina in Italy.

(2)   How many intending migrants have been medically examined at this post since its establishment and how many persons have been accepted for migration to Australia.

(3)   Is the Department satisfied that the doctors conducting the medical examinations are not applying their own concept of medical fitness, which could be in conflict with that officially laid down.

Senator GREENWOOD - The Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Intending migrants from Messina are medically examined by an Australia-based medical officer who is stationed in Messina.

The processing of applications for migration to Australia received from people resident in Messina was, until June 1968, undertaken by visiting teams of Australia-based officers from the Australian Embassy in Rome. In 1968 a regional office was established in Messina. Prior to the establishment of this office a 'pre-medical' examination of applicants was undertaken by an Italian doctor. His findings were checked by a reexamination by an Australian-based doctor who visited Messina from Rome on a fortnightly basis. In more recent years these visits were made weekly.

Since 1968 'pre-medical' examination has been dispensed with and all medical examinations are carried out by an Australia-based doctor who is resident in Messina. Since the establishment of the regional office there have been 3 Australia-based doctors at this post. The present Medical Officer took up duty there in May 1971. The Medical Officer in Messina is responsible to the Medical Director at the Australian Embassy in Rome.

(2)   The numbers of people medically examined at Messina and the numbers approved for migration from there, since the establishment of a regional office in June 1968 are as follows:


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