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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3245

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 23 April 1 980:

In view of the answer to question No. 4763 (which first appeared on the Notice Paper on 27 September 1979) that the information was not available (Hansard, 22 April 1980, page 2 1 30), why did it take 7 months to provide an answer.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

My predecessor in his letter of 5 November 1979 advised the honourable member as follows:

I refer to Question on Notice No. 4763 (which you asked on 27 September), concerning statistics on the number of general practitioners and medical specialists who frequently charge above Schedule fees, and related analyses.

This information is not available from the current departmental analyses of the data of Medical Benefits claims. I have been advised that until developmental analyses are tried, the Department cannot be certain whether the data can be analysed to produce the type of information you sought. However, I have asked that such developmental analyses be tried as soon as the Department has brought on-line the more conventional analyses.

One of the more conventional analyses produces statistics of the number of services, for which the fee charged is equal to, or less than the Schedule fee- these figures are referred to as level of observance statistics.

I have forwarded to you a copy of tables showing preliminary figures that have recently been issued. '

It subsequently proved to be taking longer than had been expected to bring on-line the more conventional statistical analyses. Accordingly the answer appearing in Hansard of 22 April 1980 (page 2130) was provided because the information sought would not become available in the foreseeable future.

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