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Monday, 26 November 1973
Page: 3870

Mr Bennett asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   Is it a fact, as stated by the President of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association of Western Australia, that one nursing home in the eastern States has closed because of financial difficulties and others have discharged patients.

(2)   If so, what were the circumstances in each case.

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

(1)   and (2) In the first ten months of this year a total of 33 nursing homes throughout Australia, containing 681 beds, have ceased to operate. These figures include 5 nursing homes with 116 beds in Queensland which ceased to operate because of adverse fire authority reports in regard to the premises. Twenty-one homes containing 532 beds ceased to operate during the corresponding period in 1972.

The reasons that nursing homes ceased operations are many and varied. For example, some specific reasons given by proprietors of the nursing homes which have closed this year were- conversion of premises to flats, sale of property for development purposes, the age of the proprietors, uneconomic operation due to the small size of the nursing home and the poor standard of the premises which made them too expensive to raise to a satisfactory standard.

None of the proprietors of the 33 homes which ceased to operate this year specifically stated that the closure was directly caused by financial difficulties arising from the new nursing home benefit arrangements framed by the previous Government and introduced with effect from 1 January 1973.

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