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Tuesday, 29 April 1980
Page: 1880

Senator BONNER (QUEENSLAND) - I do not think this is the appropriate time to take a point of order. I intend to seek permission of the Senate to make a personal explanation later. I will ask my question now and pursue that course of action later.

The PRESIDENT - You may make a personal explanation at that time.

Senator BONNER - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. I draw the Minister's attention to a recent report that an American orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Kingsbury Heiple, has perfected a technique of implanting artificial finger joints on the hands of patients suffering from arthritis and injuries and unlike prosthetic devices that merely separate arthritic or damaged joints, these new artificial joints are stable, strong and comfortable. I ask: Is the Minister aware of this technique? Is it available in Australia to sufferers of arthritis? If it is not available, will the Minister's Department investigate the matter, thereby increasing the quality of life, particularly for elderly persons suffering from this crippling complaint.


I will need to refer this matter to the Minister for Health. 1 am not aware that he has knowledge of the procedures that were mentioned by Senator Bonner. If Senator Bonner can give further information I will ensure that it is referred to the Minister for Health to determine whether there is any way in which we can give further assistance to Australians in these matters. At present I have no information on the matter.

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