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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1405

Mr KENNEDY (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. It refers to the subsidised health insurance scheme for low income families. Did the Minister, when he introduced this scheme, quote figures which indicated that the scheme would cover a total of 184,000 families, or over half a million adults and children, living in poverty or near poverty? Did he also say last year that changes in the national health scheme would help to provide financial protection for every person in the community? Is he aware of figures produced this week by the Department of Health which show that only 6,402 families, or fewer than 16,000 persons, were receiving help at 30th June - in other words, less than 4 per cent of all eligible persons? How does the Minister explain the almost total collapse of a scheme which has been in operation for almost 2 years?

Dr FORBES (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - I am aware that the honourable gentleman has a question on the notice paper addressed to my colleague, the Minister for Health. I am advised that the Minister will be answering that question today. The information that the honourable gentleman has sought will be provided in that answer. If the answer does not provide all the information for which the honourable gentleman has asked in his question I will ask my colleague to give him that further information.

Mr Kennedy -A point of order, Mr Speaker. The question I have asked does not relate to my question on the notice paper.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no valid point of order.

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