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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3035..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Minister, why has your government not treated this conclusion with more urgency than the long drawn out process that you previously described?

MR CORBELL: The government has treated it with urgency. As I have indicated to members previously, we have undertaken a range of steps to implement those measures that are possible to be implemented urgently. I would draw Mrs Dunne's attention to other elements of that report—clearly she has a copy—where it also indicates that it is recognised that, because of the large number of individual surgeons involved in this matter, it will take time to reach agreement on role delineation within the hospitals. The report is quite clear on that point. I would draw Mrs Dunne's attention to it. The report recognised and the reviewer recognised that there were areas of dispute between the surgical specialties, and the report concluded that these matters would take time to address.

I have previously outlined to members the efforts that we are taking as a government, though ACT Health, to address these matters, including bringing the surgeons together through mediation to seek agreement in principle and in detail on the appropriate role and delineation of oral and maxillofacial surgeons and plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the Canberra Hospital, and we continue to work on those issues with them.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Why has it taken so long, given that you had already had a previous report, the Reid report, which pointed to these problems? Over the period of six years this government has done nothing, and in the past 18 months, a period in which you were the minister responsible, almost nothing has been done. Didn't the alarm bells ring when you had a second report that said you had a problem?

MR CORBELL: I refute Mrs Dunne's assertions. It is not the case that nothing has been done, and indeed if she had been paying attention to my earlier answers she would have heard that. I refute any suggestion that the government are not treating this matter with significant seriousness; we are. I have already answered the substantive part of Mrs Dunne's question, which is that without the agreement of the surgeons involved we are not going to be able to achieve the level of service delivery that we believe, and I think we all agree, is required. The surgical specialties need to reach agreement. If they do not, we cannot simply impose a solution from above. That will not work in these circumstances.

Budget—June 2007 interim result

MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question, through you, is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as Treasurer.

Mr Mulcahy: Here we go.

MS MacDONALD: Would you like to ask the question for me, Mr Mulcahy?


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