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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 420


Mr Les McMahon (SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 1 6 April 1 980:

(1)   Are there 15 major medical rehabilitation units in Australia; if so, what are they.

(2)   What specific types of rehabilitation are carried out by each of these units.

(3)   What funding does each unit receive.


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

(1)   and (2) The Medical Rehabilitation and Health Aspects Committee of the National Advisory Council for the Handicapped considered that major medical rehabilitation units should provide as comprehensive a range of services as are set out in the Report of the National Committee of Inquiry into Compensation and Rehabilitation in Australia (Volume 2), (Woodhouse and Meares, 1974), page 33. These services are: disability assessment and remedial treatment of persons who are admitted to hospital as a result of accident, disease or illness who are in need of physical restoration, and who are likely to make near full recovery of function and skill following the provision of medical rehabilitation services of comparatively short duration; preliminary disability assessments, and early remedial treatment and prompt referral thereafter to appropriate institutions and/or organisations of persons who are admitted to hospital as a result of accident, disease or illness, who are likely to have severe residual handicaps and who are in need of long-term, comprehensive rehabilitation treatment and/or training.'

The Report goes on to state at paragraph 78, page 33:

Primarily, the medical rehabilitation unit should be designed, staffed and equipped to deal adequately with the complete rehabilitation needs of the shorter-term case (generally speaking, the case capable of resuming normal daily living within three months of the commencement of rehabilitation assistance). In addition, however, the medical rehabilitation unit should be able to deal with the early treatment of the long-term case pending transfer to a specialist medical rehabilitation unit, a general regional rehabilitation centre or other appropriate institution.'

The Medical Rehabilitation and Health Aspects Committee has estimated that there are probably no more than fifteen major medical rehabilitation units in Australia which would meet these criteria.

Such units are located as follows:

New South Wales Royal North Shore Hospital Royal South Sydney Hospital Prince of Wales/Prince Henry's Hospital St George Hospital Westmead Hospital Royal Newcastle Hospital

Australian Capital Territory Woden Valley Hospital*

* Located in Canberra but also serving New South Wales districts surrounding the Australian Capital Territory.

Victoria

Royal Melbourne Hospital/Royal Children's Hospital

Mount Royal Hospital

Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Hospital

Caulfield Hospital

Queensland Royal Brisbane Hospital

South Australia Royal Adelaide Hospital/Regency Park Centre for Physically Handicapped Children

Western Australia

Royal Perth (Rehabilitation) Hospital, Shenton Park

Tasmania Royal Hobart Hospital

In addition to the above, the Casuarina Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory is expected to provide similar comprehensive medical rehabilitation services when it is fully commissioned.

Repatriation General Hospitals operated by the Department of Veterans' Affairs provide similar comprehensive medical rehabilitation services in all but one instance, but because their services are generally restricted to Repatriation beneficiaries, the Committee did not include them in its estimate of major units serving the general population.

(3)   All of the major medical rehabilitation units listed are operated by, or in direct conjunction with, large general hospitals. Their funding is thus not considered separately from the costs of operation of the hospitals concerned. However, it should be noted that in each case, the costs of the units are shared between the relevant State Government and the Commonwealth Government under the hospital cost-sharing agreements. Total Commonwealth outlays to the States under these arrangements in 1 978-79 were approximately $ 1 ,062m.







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