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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2827

Senator MISSEN - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. Is he aware that the State Government of Victoria, after receiving approximately $30m from the Australian Government and from pharmaceutical and other benefits, is left to meet the remaining cost of hospital expenses for pensioners and that this net sum amounts to $73. 5m? Does the Minister agree that the cost of pensioner hospital care should be met substantially by the Australian Government and that its payments to the States should accordingly be substantially increased?

Senator WHEELDON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Repatriation and Compensation) - 1 agree completely with Senator Missen. I do believe that the Australian Government should have responsibility not only for this matter but for very many other matters. I am pleased to see that Senator Missen subscribes to the policy of the Australian Labor Party in supporting the national Government's approach to the provision of health services, and I look forward to receiving continued support from him. As to the particular details and the amounts, I am not aware of the answer but I shall obtain it for the honourable senator. In general principle, 1 am pleased to welcome Senator Missen to the ranks of those who advocate a national health scheme.

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