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Thursday, 17 October 1985
Page: 1489

(Question No. 342)


Senator Cooney asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 30 May 1985:

(1) What number of people aged between 75 and 80 years have had major surgery in Victoria in the 12 months to date.

(2) What number of people aged 80 years and over have had major surgery in Victoria in the 12 months to date.

(3) What number of the surgical procedures referred to in (1) above were paid by Medicare.

(4) What number of the surgical procedures referred to in (2) above were paid by Medicare.


Senator Grimes —The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

PUBLIC HOSPITALS

The following information has been provided by Health Department, Victoria, in relation to Victorian public hospitals during the period 1 April 1984 to 31 March 1985. This is the most recent 12 months period prior to the date of the honourable senator's question, for which the information is available.

(1) Major surgery was performed on 5,306 persons between the ages of 75 and 79 years.

(2) Major surgery was performed on 5,221 persons aged 80 years and over.

(3) Of the total in (1) above 3,698 persons were treated as Medicare patients, that is free of charge for both medical/surgical services and for accommodation.

Medical/surgical services rendered to the remaining 1,608 persons, except for compensable patients, would have attracted Medicare benefits but these private patients would have been responsible for accommodation charges, usually covered by private insurance benefits.

(4) Of the total in (2) above 3,703 persons were treated as Medicare patients, that is free of charge for both medical/surgical services and for accommodation.

Medical/surgical services rendered to the remaining 1,518 persons, except for compensable patients, would have attracted Medicare benefits but these private patients would have been responsible for accommodation charges, usually covered by private insurance benefits.

Notes-1. In respect of public hospitals major surgery is defined as any principle procedure code beginning with `5' as contained in Chapter 5 of `International Classification of Procedures in Medicare', 9th Edition, WHO, 1976.

2. The figures provided will slightly underestimate the actual level of surgery performed in public hospitals because a small proportion of total cases (5 per cent) will not have received diagnosis/procedure codes at time of analysis.

PRIVATE HOSPITALS

In private hospitals in Victoria during the period 1 April 1984 to 31 March 1985:

(1) Major surgery was performed on 1,136 persons between the ages of 75 and 79 years.

(2) Major surgery was performed on 1,031 persons aged 80 years or over.

(3) and (4) Medical/surgical services rendered to all patients, except compensable patients, in (1) and (2) above would have attracted Medicare benefits but these private patients would have been responsible for accommodation charges, usually covered by private insurance benefits. The commonwealth also pays to private hospitals a subsidy of $40, $30 or $20 per occupied bed day depending on their classification into categories 1, 2 or 3.

Notes-1. In respect of private hospitals major surgery is defined as an item in the table of medical services in respect of which a fee greater than $400 was specified on 1 November 1982 in relation to New South Wales.