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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2699

Senator Baume asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(   1 ) Was a letter written by Mr R. Dowell, Director of the New South Wales Branch of the Department of Social Security, sent on 15 August 1974 to a leading Sydney neurologist advising that a benefit for electroencephalography was payable only if an interval of at least two hours had elapsed from the end of a consultation.

(2   ) Does the same determination apply to other diagnostic procedures such as electrocardiography and sigmoidoscopy.

(3)   Who made the decision referred to in Mr Dowell's letter, and when.

(4)   By what manner and on what dates, if at all, was the medical profession advised of this new alteration in the conditions relating to the payment of medical benefits for diagnostic procedures carried out in relation to original consultations.

Senator Wheeldon - The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes.

(   2 ) Yes (except in the case of pathology services).

(3)   The Director-General, Department of Social Security, Canberra.

(4)   This ruling has not been circulated generally to all medical practitioners. However, medical practitioners who sought advice on this point have been informed of the decision.

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