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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 3294


Mr Whitlam asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   Where and when have there been meetings of the Health Ministers since 25th June 1971.

(2)   What were the names and portfolios of the Ministers who attended each meeting.

(3)   What requests or suggestions were made at each meeting for legislative or administrative action by (a) the Commonwealth, (b) the Territories and (c) the States.


Dr Forbes - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: (1), (2) and (3) An Australian Health Ministers' Conference was held in Queensland on 2nd-3rd March 1972. I attended that Conference on behalf of the Commonwealth, accompanied by the Hon. W. C. Wentworth, M.P., Minister for Social Services. The State Ministers who attended the meeting were:

New South Wales- The Hon. A. H. Jago,

M.L.A.- Minister for Health

Victoria- The Hon. J. F. Rossiter, M.L.A. - Minister for Health

Queensland- The Hon. S. D. Tooth, M.L.A.Minister for Health

South Australia- The Hon. A. J. Shard, M.L.C. - Chief Secretary and Minister for Health

Western Australia- The Hon. R. Davies, M.L.A. - Minister for Price Control, Consumer Protection, Health and Fisheries and Fauna

Tasmania- The Hon. N. D. Abbott, M.H.A.- Minister for Health and Road Safety

As the honourable member is aware, Health Ministers have decided that public information concerning discussions at these annual Conferences should be limited to the texts of any press releases issued by the Ministers. Press releases issued by the Ministers who attended the 1972 Conference dealt with the following subjects:

(a)   All-inclusive fee system for public hospital inpatients' accommodation;

(b)   The Commonwealth's Subsidised Health Benefits Plan;

(c)   The costs of treatment of pensioners in public hospitals throughout Australia;

(d)   Services for the mentally ill and intellectually handicapped;

(e)   Controls relating to therapeutic goods;

(f)   Alcoholism.

I shall forward to the honourable member copies of those press releases.

In Sydney on 2nd May 1972, I also had discussions with the following State Ministers:

New South Wales- The Hon. A. H. Jago, M.L.A.- Minister for Health

Victoria- The Hon. J. F. Rossiter, M.L.A.- Minister for Health

South Australia- The Hon. A. J. Shard, M.L.C. - Chief Secretary and Minister for Health

Western Australia- The Hon. R. Davies, M.L.A. - Minister for Environmental Protection, Health and Fisheries and Fauna

The discussions were in connection with the Commonwealth Government's recent decisions to implement a national health education programme on the dangers of smoking; to require that cigarette advertisements on television and radio include a health warning; and to seek uniform Commonwealth and State action concerning health warning labels on cigarette packets. On 2nd May I issued a press release outlining the results of those discussions.







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