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Friday, 26 May 1972
Page: 2165

Senator WEBSTER (VICTORIA) - Has the attention of the Acting Minister for Health been drawn to a recent report by the General Practitioners Society that the proposals of the Australia Labor Party for a health scheme represented slick thinking by its shadow Minister for Health, Mr W. Hayden? Did he notice the term used by the general practitioners to describe Mr Hayden's thinking and proposals as coming from cloud cuckoo land? I ask the Minister whether this is a medical term.

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - My attention has been drawn to a report contained in the journal of the General Practitioners Society. I think that it used the words slick thinking' with respect to what it called Mr Hayden's 'academic socialism'. The report also suggested that Mr Hayden's thinking stemmed from cloud cuckoo land. I. imagine that doctors do use those expressions in the course of professional practice, though I doubt whether they are any more qualified than other persons to use them. I think the significant fact about what the General Practitioners Society said - one must be cautious in accepting the authority of statements coming from that body - is that the Society indicated that, under the plan of the Labor Party, the general practitioner would not have any rights at all. I think that that was the point the Society was trying to make. In that particular area, ] think that the Government would agree with the viewpoint of the General Practitioners Society, even if it does not agree with the Society in many other statements which it makes. I think that all Australians would recognise that the health plan of the Labor Party would subordinate the doctors to a regimentation which may or may not have constitutional basis in a way that the Government's plan does not.

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