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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2923

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Social

Security, upon notice:

(1)   In view of recent allegations of the misuse of funds of N.S.W. Building Societies, will heinvestigate the use made of the large reserves of registered medical and hospitalfunds.

(2)   Since his appointment as Minister, has he found any evidence of misuse of contributors' funds.

(3)   If so, what are the details.

Mr Hayden The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Since the amendment to the National Health Act in 1970, details of assets and liabilities of registered medical and hospital funds are required to be presented in an annual report to Parliament. The investments of funds are set out under broad headings which show that surplus funds are, in the main, held in trustee type investments. I would point out that in winding up the present unsatisfactory voluntary health insurance system, the Government will be carefully examining the mannerin which the reserves held by funds are to be utilised.

(2)   and (3) Allegations have been made from time to time as to the misuse of contributors' funds, for example, in meeting the costs of publications directed to political purposes, printing over-lavish reports, the provision of an aeroplane and lavish motor cars for use of staff and unnecessary competitive practices amongst funds. It is known that H.C.P. of Sydney sent four delegates to the last International Federation of Voluntary Health Service Funds. They were Mr D. S. I. Burrows (Chairman of the Executive Committee), Dr L. L. Wilson (Member of the Executive Committee), Mr R. J. Turner (Director) and Mr V. A. Hilton (Development Manager). The fund was unable to provide details of costs of this trip when the information was sought by the previous government However, M.B.F. of N.S.W. sent ten delegates to this conference for a total cost of $23,850.

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