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Friday, 30 September 1949

Dr EVATT - The broad position is that the power to regulate medical practice in Australia and to prescribe the qualifications that must be possessed by medical practitioners is vested exclusively in the State legislatures. The view of the Attorney-General's Department - it is a view that I share - is .that the social services power in the Constitution does not give to the Commonwealth Parliament any general authority in respect' of the qualifications of medical practitioners. It may be that there are some border-line cases, such as foreign doctors treating migrants under certain conditions, in respect of which the Commonwealth could make special provision for the recognition of foreign medical degrees. The Commonwealth Parliament has, of course, complete power in respect to Commonwealth territories ; but, broadly .speaking, the position is as I have stated it. There is an opinion in the Attorney-General's Department upon this matter, and I shall make it available to the honorable gentleman.

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