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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3154..


Civil Law (Wrongs) Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 20 August 2002, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Publication of document

MR SPEAKER: Before I proceed any further, a letter was tabled in the Assembly today by Mr Humphries. I will be taking further advice in relation to it between now and when the chair resumes at 2.30 pm, but my interim advice from the Clerk is that this matter may well require a motion of the Assembly authorising its publication, because there are questions about whether or not this might be actionable. I just draw that to your attention to consider between now and 2.30.

Sitting suspended from 10.57 am to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

AMA medical indemnity insurance

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to the Minister for Health, Mr Stanhope. I refer to an article in the Canberra Times of 21 September this year, reporting criticism by Dr Ian Pryor, president of the ACT AMA, of your approach to medical indemnity insurance and the Neave report.

The article states:

Dr Pryor said yesterday the report failed to recommend changes to medical negligence rules to "make them fairer and more workable".

"[It] represents a fundamental lack of understanding of the impact the medical indemnity crisis is having on medical practice," Dr Pryor said. "Doctors will respond to the report's inadequacies by continuing to cut back their practices and some will be forced to leave the profession."

The Sunday Telegraph of 22 September reported that the New South Wales AMA conducted a survey of 720 specialists practising in that state, which found:

... 40 per cent were considering scaling back private work in high-risk areas like operations and obstetric services, and a third said they were considering early retirement.

The New South Wales Minister for Health, Craig Knowles, has described, and I quote, "the impact of any mass resignation by specialists as 'catastrophic'".

Is the minister aware of whether similar surveys have been conducted in the ACT and, if they have, what was their outcome? Does the minister reject the claims by Dr Pryor that he has displayed what Dr Pryor calls policy apathy, and that his lack of consultation with


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