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DISABLED PERSONS--ASSISTANCE

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Harradine--

(1) That the Senate is of the opinion that 1981, being the International Year of Disabled Persons, would be an appropriate occasion for the Federal Government to monitor very carefully the way in which its $1,000 million contribution to Australian hospitals is expended in the care and treatment of disabled persons.

(2) That the Senate notes that in 1979 a twenty-three month old Down's Syndrome boy was admitted to a ""recognised hospital'' under Schedule B2 of the then Commonwealth-Western Australia hospital costs sharing agreement and that he died the following day in circumstances in which his parents and many other people believe that insufficient effort was made to preserve the child's life.

(3) That the Senate is of the opinion that disabled persons who suffer from physical and mental handicaps and incur some additional form of illness require particular assistance and attention; and to this end the Senate recommends that the Minister for Health investigate existing practices in hospitals which are partially funded by the Commonwealth through the States and report to the Australian Parliament.

Senator Harradine, by leave, amended his motion to read as follows: That the Senate--

(1) notes that in 1979 a twenty-three month old Down's Syndrome boy was admitted to a ""recognised hospital'' under Schedule B2 of the then Commonwealth- Western Australia hospital costs sharing agreement and that he died the following day in circumstances in which his parents and many other people believe insufficient effort was made to preserve the child's life; and

(2) is of the opinion that--

(a) this year being the International Year of Disabled Persons, it would be particularly appropriate for hospital authorities to review their procedures to ensure the preservation of life and proper health care of disabled persons; and

(b) disabled persons who suffer from physical and mental handicaps and incur some additional form of illness require particular assistance and attention.

Debate resumed.

Question--put and passed.