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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3254

Senator EVERETT (TASMANIA) - I direct a question to the Minister for Repatriation and Compensation. I preface it by drawing attention to the fact that extensive alterations to the repatriation hospital in Hobart are in the course of construction, and that fact prompts my question. Will the Minister indicate what provision is made by the Department of Repatriation and Compensation for staff training? How many of the Department's general hospitals are teaching hospitals for medical undergraduates? How many such undergraduates were taught at these hospitals last year or this year? Specifically, what is the position with regard to medical undergraduate training in relation to the repatriation hospital in Hobart?

Senator WHEELDON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Repatriation and Compensation) -The Department of Repatriation and Compensation primarily through its activities in the field of repatriation, specifically the Repatriation Commission, provides extensive medical services. Obviously it is necessary, if we are to provide adequate medical services for the large number of people whom we must serve, that training be given in the medical and nursing fields. All the repatriation general hospitals are now teaching hospitals. For the year ended 31 March last 364 medical undergraduates underwent training in repatriation general hospitals, and 320 student nurses underwent this training. In addition considerable numbers of graduate nurses, nursing aides and postgraduate nurses also received their training in repatriation general hospitals. The Department was responsible, through its initiatives, for securing the establishment by the State of Victoria of a 3-year diploma course in prosthetics and orthotics. I must confess that I do not know precisely what they are- perhaps some of the other senators can enlighten me- but I am told that they are of considerable importance to the general medical services. Overall the Department is concerned about this matter and does use its own hospitals and through its initiatives makes use of other services for the training of medical and paramedical staff.

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