Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3028..
Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Health—oral and maxillofacial surgery
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in 2002, in your capacity as health minister, you commissioned Mr Mick Reid, the immediate past Director General of Health for New South Wales, to undertake a major review of the delivery of health services in the ACT. On page 25 of his report on the review, Mr Reid stated:
There are no arrangements in Canberra for oral maxillofacial surgery, often resulting in less than optimal management of trauma cases.
Chief Minister, in light of Mr Reid's comment, what action did you take at that time to fix this problem.
MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice, Mr Speaker.
MR STEFANIAK: We talked about this yesterday. Supplementary—
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question?
MR STEFANIAK: You might take that on notice, too, then. Chief Minister, while you are taking that on notice, would you indicate what follow-up action, if any, you have taken since 2002 to ensure that appropriate access to oral maxillofacial surgery is available in the ACT?
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think, first and foremost in relation to follow-up action, what this government has done is correct the negligence of the previous government in relation to the provision of appropriate funding for health care. And that, of course, is reflected in the fact that since we took government six years ago we have increased funding for public health in the ACT by in excess of $300 million across the board.
One other area, of course, in relation to dental care and mouth care and issues around oral maxillo is that we have sought to redress the shocking circumstance that Canberrans, particularly those that rely on public health facilities in relation to dentistry, faced. As I have said, I think the most mean-spirited, if not vicious, action the Howard Liberal government have taken in their 11 years in government was to completely slash funding for public dentistry.
Mrs Dunne: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR STANHOPE: Mean spirited is too nice in the context of what it was that the Liberals have done in relation to dental health.
Mrs Dunne: I now have two points of order, Mr Speaker. One is about the behaviour of the Chief Minister who will not take his seat when people take points of order, in