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Tuesday, 17 September 1974
Page: 1163

Senator SHEIL (QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Repatriation and Compensation, upon notice:

(   1 ) Were six wards at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Melbourne, recently closed; if so, was it because of a shortage of medical staff, or patients.

(2)   Does the Government intend to open those wards to public patients.

Senator Wheeldon - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(   1 ) No. Because of a severe shortage of nursing staff it was necessary to place a ceiling on the number of patients that would be admitted to certain wards at Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg. As the staff position improves these ceilings will be lifted.

(2)   The Government announced on 10 April 1973 that as beds became available they would be used for treatment of patients in the community including some ex-servicemen who had no entitlement under the Repatriation system.

Any spare capacity would be used for:

The treatment, where medically desirable, of nonaccepted disabilities, while the ex-serviceman is in a Repatriation hospital for accepted disabilities; treatment of non-Repatriation patients from artificial limb and appliance centres, including admission of patients for amputation; cases of special clinical interest to Repatriation General Hospitals all of which are teaching hospitals.

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