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Contract Medical Practice Ceases.
—For nearly a hundred years in Australia there has been in existence a form of contract medical practice known as "lodge" work. This was modeled on the "club" practice in Britain. Under this arrangement, members of "friendly societies" would pay a regular amount of about $10 per year and would receive various benefits, such as sick pay, free medicines, funeral benefit, and medical service. The contract would be made between the society and a general practitioner for medical attendance on the member, his wife, and children under 16 years of age at an annual fee of about $4. The medical attendance was little more than "advice and a prescription," and for anything more than this the patient would be sent to a public hospital. Concessional rates (extra to the contract) would be charged for obstetrics, surgery and anesthesia. The scheme worked reasonably well, and it did
AUSTRALIA. JAMA. 1951;146(10):957. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670100077030