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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1753

Mr FitzPATRICK - Is the Minister for Social Security aware that many citizens living in isolated areas and caring for aged and sick parents in their homes are being refused assistance under the domiciliary nursing care benefits scheme on the ground that there is no registered nurse attending the sick person, when no registered nurse is available in those areas? If this is consistent with the Act, will the Minister consider amending it so that these unfortunate cases may receive assistance?

Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Social Security) - The honourable member, and honourable members generally, know that the Act was introduced by the previous Government. I cannot give any undertaking about the matter that the honourable member mentioned. I am concerned about the point he raised, but the fact is that an increasing amount of evidence reveals that the legislation is plagued with anomalies and problems. The more one tries to deal with them the more one adds to the anomalies and problems of that Act. I am concerned about complaints which I have received suggesting that the legislation is open to abuse. I am afraid I will have to arrange for a full review of the Act. It is quite clear that it was rushed in during the last Parliament by the previous Government in a desperate effort to buy votes and without full consideration of the implications which would arise once it was brought into operation.

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