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The government of Australia delivers a number of social services throughout the country. Programs of assistance for people who are sick, aged, widowed, or unemployed exist to provide at least a subsistence allowance. Parents may apply for a subsidy for children under 16 years of age. Medical and hospital benefits are paid by the federal government, although private health insurance is also available. The Flying Doctor Service provides medical service for people in remote areas and covers two-thirds of Australia, with physicians operating from bases equipped with radio stations for communicating with distant ranches and settlements. Australia has 455 people for every physician and 112 people for every hospital bed.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|