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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 403

Mr Les McMahon (SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 5 March 1980:

What sums were spent on rehabilitation services (a) as a percentage of total health care expenditure and (b) in real terms in each of the years 1 972 to 1 979, inclusive.

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

The concept of medical rehabilitation permeates the whole range of medical activities. Rehabilitation commences as soon as treatment for an injury or illness commences and continues for the whole course of a patient's progress through the health care system. It is therefore impossible to distinguish in a health service the whole rehabilitation process as distinct from the treatment process. Even in those hospitals which provide specialised rehabilitation units, management reporting systems usually do not allow costs of individual units to be singled out. Therefore as far as hospital services are concerned, the information sought by the honourable member is unobtainable.

The funding of rehabilitation services has been an important and significant component of the Community Health Program since its inception in 1973-74. There are 80 projects currently funded under the Community Health Program which can be categorised as providing rehabilitation services as their primary function. Details of Commonwealth and State expenditure on these projects for the financial years 1973-74-1978-79, and 1 July to 31 March 1980 (the latest period for which expenditure figures are currently available), are shown in Table I below. It should be noted that many other projects approved for funding under the Community Health Program also provide rehabilitation services, but not as the primary function of the projects. Financial details in relation to the rehabilitation component of the activities of such other projects are not available.

Table 1


Expenditure on Rehabilitation Services

Financial Commonwealth State

Using the Consumer Price Index as a deflator, these figures, at constant 1973-74 prices, expressed to the nearest $1,000, would be as shown in Table 2 below:

Table 2


Expenditure on Rehabilitation Services (in 1973-74 Constant Prices*)

* The deflator used is the weighted average for the Consumer Price Index for the six capital cities. t The deflator used for 1979-80 is estimated from the average of the quarterly index figures for December 1979 and March 1980. $ Minor inconsistencies in totals are due to rounding off.

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