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Thursday, 17 April 1980
Page: 1574

Senator Gietzelt (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 6 November 1979:

(   1 ) What are the names of the Trustees of the Hospital Benefits Reinsurance Trust Fund established in 1 976.

(2)   What is their present, or, if retired, immediate past: (a) occupation; and (b) employer, in each case.

(3)   What is the formula for determining hospital benefits fund contributions to the Hospital Benefits Reinsurance Trust Fund.

(4)   What has been the total amount of Commonwealth Medical Benefits paid for the year 1978-79; and what was the total of the scheduled fees to which that amount relates.

(5)   What were the amounts of: (a) Commonwealth Medical Benefits paid; and (b) scheduled fees, for services to: (i) pensioners; (ii) socially disadvantaged persons; (iii) insured persons; and (iv) non-insured persons.

(6)   How many medical practitioners in each State rendered services for which claims were paid for services to: (a) pensioners; (b) socially disadvantaged persons; and (c) other persons.

(7)   How many: (a) general practitioners: (b) surgeons; (c) physicians; (d) pathologists: (e) radiologists; and (f) other specialists rendered services in the categories in part (6) above.

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) The names of the Trustees appointed to administer the Hospital Benefits Reinsurance Trust Fund for a three year period from 19 November 1976 were as follows:

Mr W.A. Carson (Chairman). Mr A. E. Coates, Mr B. W. Walker, Mr M. W. Campbell.

The former Minister re-appointed Messrs Carson and Coates for a further three year period from 19 November 1979 and appointed Messrs D. A. Shaw and J. Mansfield for a similar term.

(2)   Details concerning the current Trustees' occupations are set out below:

Mr Carsonwas formerly the Administrator of the Hospital Benefit Fund of Western Australia. He is currently an Administrative Officer with the University of Western Australia.

Mr Shawis employed by The Hospital Benefits Association Limited of Victoria as General Manager.

Mr Mansfieldis employed by The Mutual Health Association Limited of South Australia as General Manager.

Mr Coatesis a senior officer in the Insurance and Development Branch of the Department of Health.

(3)   The following procedure is used by the Trustees to determine whether an organisation is required to make a contribution to the Trust Fund oris eligible to receive a payment from the Trust Fund:

(a)   at the end of each quarterly settlement period each registered hospital benefits organisation is required to submit a return showing the total benefits and management expenses debited and the total contribution income credited to their Reinsurance Account thereby providing a deficit in the Account;

(b)   the total of deficits for all organisations is determined;

(c)   the average number of single unit contributors enrolled in the basic table of each organisation for the quarter (ordinary account plus reinsurance account) is determined- for this purpose contributors at the family rate count as 2, those at single rate as 1 ;

(d)   the total average number of single unit contributors for all organisations is determined;

(e)   the Commonwealth contribution (currently $l2.5m per quarter) is deducted from the total gross deficit in (b) to determine the total net deficit;

(f)   the average net deficit per single unit contributor for all organisations is determined (i.e. the total net deficit in (e) divided by the total contributors in (d));

(g)   the net deficit that would have applied to each organisation if it had an average experience is determined by multiplying the number of single unit contributors for each organisation under (c) by the rate calculated under (f);

(h)   the difference between the actual Reinsurance Account deficit of each organisation under (a) and the amount calculated under (g) shall be paid to the Trustees if the latter amount is greater or by the Trustees to the organisation if the former is greater.

(4)   The total amount of expenditure on Commonwealth medical benefits by the Commonwealth in 1978-79 related to the period from 1 November 1978 and was $34Om: the related Schedule fees are estimated to be about $580-$590m. Also expended by the Commonwealth in 1978-79 was an amount of $ 1 89m, related to Medibank Standard expenditure for services rendered prior to 1 November 1 978. The Schedule fees to which the $189m relates are estimated at about $215 to $220m. Benefits were also provided solely by registered medical benefits organisations for services rendered prior to I November 1978 and it is estimated that the Schedule fees associated with these benefits were about $370 to $380m.

(5)   As indicated at (4), Commonwealth medical benefits became payable for medical services rendered on or after I November 1978. The following preliminary figures are based on returns of medical benefits claims processed by 30 June 1979 by registered medical benefits organisations, and the direct billing payment system operated by the Department of Health. Some of the Commonwealth medical benefits were, of course, reimbursed by the Commonwealth after 30 June 1979.


(6)   and (7) The details currently available are:


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