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Monday, 11 June 1928

Dr EARLE PAGE - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : - (a), (b) and (c) When a pensioner enters a hospital his pension is suspended. For the first 28 days of his stay in the institution no payment is made. After 28 days the Commonwealth pays the pensioner 4s. per week as a hospital pension and pays the institution 10s. 6d. per week for his maintenance. On his discharge from hospital the pensioner receives payment of ordinary pension for the first 28 days of his stay in the institution. These payments represent the total disbursements by the Commonwealth in respect of pensioners who enter hospitals.

(d)   With a view to removing the anomaly that the increase of the old-age pension has brought into being, the Government is at present considering the method of dealing with pensioners who become inmates of public institutions. The matter has been discussed with the States which were requested to make representations as to the best method of correcting the anomaly. At the same time representations have been made on behalf of pensioners that the amount payable to pensioners in hospitals should be increased. The Government expects to reach a decision in this matter at an early date.

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