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Thursday, 7 October 1971
Page: 2132

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

Can the Minister say how many (a) doctors and (b) hospital beds there are per thousand people in (i) Australia, (ii) New Zealand, (iii) the United Kingdom, (iv) the United States of America, (v) Canada, (vi) the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (vii) Common Market countries and (viii) Scandinavian countries.

Dr Forbes - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(a)   (i) The latest available estimate of the number of medical practitioners per 1,000 population in Australia is 1.2 in 1966. This estimate is derived from the 1966 Population Census, and is based on the number of persons in the workforce who were classified as having the occupation of medical practitioner. It therefore excludes those qualified as medical practitioners who were not in the workforce because of retirement or other reasons, or who were classified to other occupations such as university teaching. All doctors in the permanent armed forces are also excluded.

(b)   (i) As at 30th June 1971, there were 6.0 hospital beds (approved for the purposes of payment of Commonwealth hospital benefits) per 1,000 population in Australia.

(a)   and (b) (ii) to (viii) The information sought for the countries mentioned in parts (ii) to (viii) of the honourable member's question is tabulated below and has been derived from the latest issue of World Health Annual Statistics which was published by the World Health Organisation in 1970 and relates to the year 1967. In that year, there were approximately 1.2 medical practitioners and 6.2 hospital beds per thousand population in Australia.

It should be noted that the figures shown below, particularly those relating to hospitals, are not strictly comparable with each other or with the Australian figures due to variations in definitions and differences in patterns of delivery of health care in the various countries concerned.


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