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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 606..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

road use that would lead to nobody suffering death or injury on our roads. It is about accepting personal responsibility and accepting a new view around road safety.

It is a serious issue. The issue you raise is obviously a serious issue for us as members of this community.

Canberra Hospital—alleged bullying

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, last week when serious allegations were raised in the media about workplace bullying, intimidation and a toxic environment at the obstetrics unit of the Canberra Hospital, you dismissed them as "doctor politics"and "mud-slinging". However, this week you announced that the government would commission two external reviews to look into these allegations. Minister, why are you conducting two external reviews when you previously stated that the allegations are simply "mud-slinging"and "doctor politics"?

MS GALLAGHER: I think there is a fair bit of doctor politics and mud-slinging in how it has unfolded in the media over the past week. The comments I made and, indeed, all the interviews I gave also included a caveat. The words I expressly used were that I am not saying there are not issues. I think if you watched the media you would have seen that grab replayed. However, there has been a long and troubled history in obstetrics in the ACT. It has gone on for far too long. The obstetrics community have not dealt with it across private and public well. My hope out of all of this, out of the damage that has been done, particularly to the Canberra Hospital, is that the war that has existed in obstetrics for in excess of 10 years—

Mr Seselja: A war?

Mr Smyth: A war? It is now a war.

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I believe it is. I think when you talk to obstetricians they will agree as well. It is over.

Mr Hanson: Oh, the war is over; thank God!

MS GALLAGHER: No, I have expressly asked that all the players that are involved put aside their differences—

Mr Seselja: It is fixed.

Mr Hanson: So the 10-year war—you said put it aside; the war is over now.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, could I please answer the question I was asked? I believe that something good can come out of the way that this mud-slinging has occurred, and I do believe it is mud-slinging. It is an approach that I have not seen—the nature of the attacks on the credibility of hardworking individuals within the Canberra Hospital—before in my time in this place. I think it is immensely regrettable and has done extraordinary damage to a number of individuals. I regret that.


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