STATE DOCTORS TO VET BENEFICIARIES
Peter Gresham has announced that from September, beneficiaries will be given regular medical check-ups (paid for by the State), in an effort to reduce the numbers on the long-term benefits and encourage them back to work. Social Welfare says that applicants for the sickness benefit would have their initial test done by their GP. A second check would be required four weeks after the benefit was granted, then after three months the beneficiary would be required to be examined by an accredited doctor. The checks would be carried out yearly from then on. On Budget night, the Government estimated that tougher screening would save 5% of the current cost, or $60m, over the next three years by moving people from the sickness and invalid benefits on to the dole.
Then; 73,000 sickness and invalid beneficiaries
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