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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 3375

Mr Berinson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   How many general and pensioner prescriptions were dispensed under the National Health Scheme in each of the first 3 months after the prescription contribution was increased from 50 cents to$1.

(2)   What were the comparable figures for each of the 3 previous years?

(3)   How many prescriptions were dispensed each month at the 50 cent concessional rate since 1st November 1971?

Dr Forbes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) On the basis of the month of dispensing, figures are not recorded separately for prescription benefits provided as general benefits and as pensioner pharmaceutical benefits.

The following table contains information which closely relates to that requested. Figures are given by month of payment as distinct from month of dispensing. Because the majority of prescriptions in the month in which a claim is paid are dispensed in the previous month, the months used, December to March, should largely reflect the dispensing months November to February. Payments for the month of December were however, exceptional because, due to a greater than usual carryover of outstanding claims, approximately 45 per cent of the prescriptions paid were dispensed in October.

Prescription figures relating to claims paid in March are included, in order to provide 3 clear months not significantly affected by the inclusion of prescriptions dispensed prior to the increase of the patient contribution for general benefits from 50 cents to $1.

Number of benefit prescriptions included in claims paid in the months of December to March inclusive.



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