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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 421

Mr Les McMahon (SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 16 April 1980.

(1)   How many overseas posts of his Department (a) can and (b) are unable to conduct and process medical examinations for intending immigrants.

(2)   Where are these posts situated.

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

There are 39 overseas posts of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. Medical examinations can be arranged by each of these posts using locally appointed panel doctors for the most part. Panel doctors are appointed at centres convenient to potential migrants.

In Europe, the Middle East and South America, panel doctor and arrangements are supervised by Australia-based Regional Medical Directors within the areas of their regional responsibilities. Regional Medical Directors, on the establishment of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, are based at Rome, Athens, Belgrade, Ankara and Buenos Aires.

Medical examinations of panel doctors located in countries other than in Europe, the Middle East and South America, (excluding examinations of refugees in South-East Asia), are supervised by the Department of Health, Canberra.

Medical examinations in London are conducted by doctors on the establishment of the Australian Department of Health. Those doctors also supervise the services of locally appointed panel doctors in other areas of Britain and Ireland.

Medical examinations of refugees in Malaysia and Indonesia are conducted by two Australia-based doctors based at the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur.

Examinations of refugees processed in Thailand are conducted by doctors appointed by UNHCR. The reports of those examinations are reviewed by the Department of Health, Canberra.

It is sometimes necessary to send short-term missions overseas to meet particular situations. At present there is an Australian-based medical officer in Vienna carrying out medical examinations of Eastern European refugees.

The overseas posts of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs are situated at:

Cairo, Buenos Aires, Vienna, London, Manchester, Vancouver, Santiago, Suva, Paris, Cologne, Athens, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Jakarta, Rome, Messina, Tokyo, Nairobi, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Sliema, The Hague, Port Moresby, Manila, Warsaw, Lisbon, Pretoria, Capetown,

Colombo, Stockholm, Berne, Damascus, Ankara, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Belgrade, Edinburgh

In addition to the above posts, officers of the Department's Refugee Task Force are located at Singapore and Bangkok.

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