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Tuesday, 3 December 1974
Page: 3078

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

(1)   How many appointments have been made to the proposed National Health Commission.

(2)   What is the current cost to the taxpayer of the salaries of persons appointed to the Commission.

(3)   How can this expenditure be justified when all legislation necessary for the Commission to function has not yet been approved by the Australian Parliament.

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

(1)   63 as at 1 November 1974.

(2)   $549,286 on an annual basis.

(3)   The legislation authorising the establishment and functioning of the Health Insurance Commission has been passed by the Australian Parliament. The legislation comprises two separate Acts. The first of these is the Health Insurance Commission Act, which authorises the establishment of the Commission, defines its powers and functions, provides for the manner in which it is to be financed and for associated matters. The second Act is the Health Insurance Act which upon proclamation will authorise the payment of medical benefits, hospital benefits, payments to the States for hospital services and the making of Health Program Grants.

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