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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 2092

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

(1)   Do approximately 50, 80 and 70 per cent of the contributors to registered medical benefits organisations and 45, 80 and 70 per cent of the contributors to registered hospital benefits organisations in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania respectively belong to the Medical Benefits Fund of Australia Ltd (Hansard, 8th September 1971, page 977).

(2)   Do the Articles of Association of the Fund provide that only medical members have a vote in the election of its Council, that medical members shall be elected by the Council or by a committee appointed by the Council, that contributory members shall not be entitled to attend or vote at any general meetings or to receive notice thereof and that 5 medical members personally present shall be a quorum of a general meeting.

(3)   What are the corresponding provisions in the articles of the largest (a) registered medical benefits organisation and (b) registered hospital benefits organisation in (i) Victoria, (ii) South Australia and (iii) Western Australia.

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

(1)   Yes. At 31st December 1971 the relevant percentages were as follows:

Membership of Medical Benefits Fund of Australia Ltd as a percentage of total insured population


(2)   Yes. However, the Articles of Association of the Medical Benefits Fund of Australia Limited provide for equality of representation on its Council by medical members and contributors' representatives.

(3)   One registered organisation in each of Victoria. South Australia and Western Australia, represents both the largest medical benefits organisation and the largest hospital benefits organisation.

Details of the corresponding provisions of the articles of association of the organisations concerned are as follows:

Victoria- The Hospital Benefits Association

The articles of association of The Hospital Benefits Association provide that the registered membership of the Association is 25 and consists of appointed representatives of the following constituent bodies -

(a)   The Victorian Branch of the Australian Medical Association, 4.

(b)   The Contributors to the Association, 4.

(c)   The Country Hospitals Association, 4.

(d)   The Community Hospitals Asociation, 2.

(e)   The Private Hospitals Association, 2.

(f)   The Bush Nursing Association, 1.

(g)   Metropolitan Public Hospitals (one representative from each hospital). 6.

(h)   The Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, 1.

(i)   The Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria, 1.

(j)   Any corporation Hospital Society not included above may, with approval of the Association, be included.

Unless otherwise determined by the Association, 9 members form a quorum at all Association meetings. The Executive Committee is elected by the above-mentioned members at the Annual Meeting of the Association. The Executive Committee consists of:

(a)   The President of the Association

(b)   One contributor representative

(c)   One member from The Country Hospitals Association

(d)   Eight members elected from all (he representatives appointed by the constituent bodies.

Within 14 days of the holding of the Annual Meeting of the Association, a General Meeting of contributors must be held, at which representatives of contributors are appointed. A quorum consists of 9 contributors.

South Australia - The Mutual Hospital Association Limited

The Mutual Hospital Association was incorporated in 1937 with 100 shareholders who each subscribed $2. This number has not been increased since then.

The Association is controlled by a Board of Directors which consists of not less than 3 nor more than 10 persons. Each year, 2 Directors who have been longest in office retire. The retiring Directors are eligible for re-election. At the Annual General Meeting, the 100 shareholders elect the Directors. Five shareholders present at any General Meeting constitute a quorum. At present, 5 of the 100 shareholders are medical practitioners.

Western Australia- The Hospital Benefit Fund of Western Australia Incorporated

The Committee of Management of The Hospital Benefit Fund consists of a Chairman and 12 members. Six of these members are nominated by constituent bodies which comprise the Royal Perth Hospital, Fremantle Hospital, and the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children Incorporated. Each of these bodies nominates 2 persons to be members. The remaining 6 members are elected by the Committee at the Annual Meeting. The Chairman may be a member of the Committee or a person eligible to be a member and shall be elected by a ballot of all the members of the Committee.

Any person over the age of 21 years and a resident of Western Australia is eligible to serve on the Committee. Members of the Committee attend Annual Meetings and 5 members of the Committee constitute a quorum.

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