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Thursday, 9 March 1972
Page: 599

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - - I ask the Minister for Health: Do I take it that the arbitration . on medical fees as announced by the Minister last night is to be in fact, a review of the review which took place in May of last year as announced by his predecessor,. Senator Greenwood, on 7th May 1971 and which it was then stated would be effective . for a period of 2 years? When the Minister says in his statement that it is not proposed that the 2- year cycle be varied as a result of putting the New South Wales fees' to arbitration, is the Australian public to assume that if the arbitrator determines, that there should be an upward movement . in fees such an increase will not come into effect until 1st July 1973?


No. I think that Senator Douglas McClelland could not have read or listened attentively to my statement last night. He will find words in it, I think - I do not have the complete statement in front of me - about no retrospectivity up or down. It is true that in the statement it is said that the Government will accept the decision of the arbitrator, having regard to the qualifications which I made earlier. The purpose of this arbitration is really to settle a disputation in relation to the base line at the start. This was the base line which really commenced from 1st July 1971 and which was to continue for 2 years.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - We were told then that it was not.


Now, the honourable senator is starting to add a bit more as he goes along on the run. I am responding to the question as put. I must say that the position is quite definite and I have added some information this morning to make sure that everybody understands. The purpose of the arbitration is to resolve a matter in New South Wales relating to items 1 and 4 in the schedule which deal with surgery visits and home visits. In New South Wales the disputation arose as to the start line which operates from 1st July 1971 and, as in the other States, carries along until 1973 when there is an obligation to have a review.

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