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Wednesday, 10 September 1958


Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The honorable gentleman has referred to the report of the National Radiation Advisory Committee, and I should like to say I hope, now that it is a public document, that all honorable members will make themselves familiar with it, because it is a most valuable and, if I may say so, sensible and reassuring report. The question of leukaemia, which it is suggested should be made a notifiable disease, was referred by me to the National Health and Medical Research Council when the report was first finalized. It will be appreciated, of course, by the honorable gentleman that this is a matter for the States except insofar as it affects Territories under the control of the Commonwealth Government, but I have no doubt that they will act on the advice of the council, which includes representatives of the health departments of all States.

My recollection of the report as regards the question of therapeutic X-rays is that the committee separated this from the uncontrolled use of X-rays, or the use of X- rays by unqualified persons. A model health act has been approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council and circulated to all State governments. I understand that most of them have already passed appropriate legislation or taken appropriate action to implement the recommendations under the model act.

The only other thing I can tell the honorale gentleman on the therapeutic use of X- rays is that the committee, in its report, advised that there should be no discontinuance of the mass X-rays used by the tuberculosis service, giving it as its opinion that, so long as they were suitably supervised and assessed, they presented no danger to the community.







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