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Thursday, 29 April 1971

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Health whether he is aware that some general medical practitioners in New South Wales are issuing circular letters to at least some of their patients in the following terms:

We are distressed to inform you that our practice will be unable to continue calling onyou at your home after 1st May 1971.

As you realise, there is an increasing demand for service in the area and there is an increasing problem with traffic, so that we have reluctantly decided on this course of action.

As you have been a long-standing patient of our practice we assure you that you are most welcome to come to our rooms or ring us for a letter of referral to a local doctor.

Will the Minister agree that such action on the part of some medical practitioners is certainly not in the best interests of the health of the Australian community, especially those people who are too ill to get out of bed to attend the doctor's surgery? Will he take all action possible to maintain the principle that if a person is too sick to attend a doctor's surgery that person is entitled to receive a home visit from a general medical practitioner?

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