82. Mr. TINNE
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the large unspent accumulated health insurance funds; and, having regard to the unremunerative services rendered by voluntary hospitals to insured persons, will he bring influence to bear upon the approved socie ties to make suitable contributions out of this surplus to the funds of voluntary hospitals treating insured persons?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The answer to the second part is that for some time considerable 1514 sums have been paid yearly by societies to voluntary hospitals out of disposable surplus, and I hope these sums may be increased in the future. The matter is, however, primarily one for consideration by societies, though it will no doubt with other similar questions be reviewed by the Royal Commission on National Health Insurance now sitting.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
Would it be practical to make certain contributions from this surplus towards medical research work?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir JOSEPH NALL
Is not this also a matter for consideration by the Department with a view to reducing the weekly contribution?
No. Schemes for the disposal of these surpluses have to be approved by the Department, and are submitted by the approved societies to the Department.
§ Sir J. NALL
If, in fact, these surpluses are continuing to grow, does it not indicate that the present weekly contribution is too high?