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Tuesday, 1 November 1983
Page: 2163

Question No. 393

Mr Wells asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 25 August 1983:

(1) Is it a fact that urinal drain bags used by both male and female sufferers of bladder conditions have to be paid for by the sufferers themselves and that the normal price for a satisfactory unit is $81.

(2) Can he say whether a cheaper unreliable model is available at $61 which has a life expectancy of only two to three weeks.

(3) If the position is as stated and considering that a single pension is approximately $82 per week, which means that a pensioner has to pay the equivalent of one week's pension for a urinal drain bag, is he prepared to provide some financial relief to the sufferers of this condition.

(4) Is he able to say whether part of the component of the cost of the urinal drain bags is comprised of import and sales tax duties; if so, will he take steps to have these levels lowered as a means of providing help to victims of this condition.

Dr Blewett —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) to (4) A range of aids for incontinence, including drainage bags, is available free of charge to eligible persons under the Federal Government's Program of Aids for Disabled People-PADP-which falls within my portfolio. Incontinence aids may be prescribed under PADP by a registered medical practitioner for persons who require them for a disability of a permanent or indefinite duration (generally this will be for the prescribing medical practitioner to determine) and who are ineligible to receive such aids under any other Government funded program e.g. the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service, programs for disabled veterans, or existing State programs under which certain aids may be obtained from public hospitals.

I have arranged for a copy of the PADP guidelines to be put forward to the member's electorate office.