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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3252..


MS GALLAGHER: Mrs Burke, the problem when you just accept one side of the story when someone walks in your door and says "this is the way things are; here are some letters"is that you never actually listen to the other side, or you never accept there is another side. You have failed to grasp the issue yet again. Here is another story where Mrs Burke has failed to grasp the issue. She has accepted somebody's word as gold. This government has moved, as we have in a number of areas in Health, to clean up areas that were allowed to go. Let us face it, Mrs Burke, sit down with Mrs Carnell and ask her what happened around OMFS back in 1997. This government has moved—

Mrs Burke: How long are you going to keep going back?

Mr Stefaniak: You've been there six years.

Mrs Burke: Yes, come on.

MS GALLAGHER: So you can go back six years, but you cannot go back 10 years?

Mrs Burke: No—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Burke.

MS GALLAGHER: The issues that have been raised are complex. This has been worked on for a number of years to get agreement around how to reintegrate services at the Canberra Hospital. Now, many of us would like to think that that was simpler than it is. It is not. We have a very busy plastic surgery area. OMFS constitutes, I understand, two per cent of the plastic surgery work that is performed at the Canberra Hospital. Our plastic surgeons are essential to the running of our public hospital. They provide an excellent service, and there has been disagreement about how that service is to reintegrate into the hospital.

We have been working on this for years; health bureaucrats have been working on this for years; TCH management has been working on this for years. It is not easy, and we cannot do something that pleases one side of the disagreement at the risk of losing the other.

Mrs Burke: What are you afraid of?

MS GALLAGHER: What I am afraid of, Mrs Burke, is that we will lose our plastic surgeons. That is what I am afraid of. I am afraid that plastic surgeons will turn around and say, "I don't want to work here if my reputation is going to be trawled through the Legislative Assembly—

Mrs Burke: Sort it then. Sort it then.

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mrs Burke.

MS GALLAGHER: Some 90 per cent of the work in terms of emergency surgery involves oral plastic surgery, and there is a disagreement over two per cent of the


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