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Tuesday, 28 February 1984
Page: 20

Senator MacGIBBON —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Health aware that Medicare officers, on payment of the 85 per cent of the fee, are retaining the receipted account from medical practitioners? Is he aware that the excuse given by Medicare officials is that this is the only way in which they can establish proof of the claim? Is he aware that Medicare officers are claiming that they have storage facilities for every receipt issued in Australia for years? Finally, is he aware of the variance with commercial practice that this action is causing, because legally that receipted account is the property of the patient and not of the Government?

Senator GRIMES —I am not aware of the exact details of the claims that Senator MacGibbon has made. I understand that the account given by the doctor is needed by Medicare as proof that the account has been rendered and paid. I do not know the exact details of the problems raised by Senator MacGibbon. I will refer that matter to the Minister for Health and seek an early answer.