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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 610..


Mr Smyth: But the specific matter is about Mr Sullivan, not about the Treasurer.

MR SPEAKER: I have made my ruling, thank you, Mr Smyth.

Health—palliative care

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Health and concerns palliative care. During the government's consultations with the community about the possible sale of Clare Holland House, a number of concerns were raised about palliative care more generally, and you indicated that the government will commission an independent review of palliative care. Minister, is the government still committed to that independent review? If so, what steps are being taken towards commencing that review?

MS GALLAGHER: I think I have signed off a letter to you today on this subject. I think you have written to me. At this point in time, and having regard to the proposal that had led to those concerns being raised, I do not think it is an urgent priority for the government to pursue an independent review of palliative care. I think we can look at something smaller than what was being asked for. It was quite a broad ranging inquiry that was being looked at. We are not looking to change any of the arrangements with palliative care in the near future. Indeed, at this point in time, they have not been subject to any of the ongoing discussions that I have been having with Little Company of Mary.

The calls for the independent review came around concerns regarding a potential change to the way palliative care services were run in the ACT, and now that we are, certainly at this point in time, not looking to change those arrangements, I think some of the urgency about that review has dissipated. I am happy to look at it again. I have not received any correspondence from anyone wanting to pursue this review. I think my office is meeting with Health Care Consumers in the next few days, or maybe a week. At my last meeting with them, they were very keen on it, but I am interested in inquiring further with them about what they would now be after, considering the changed proposal.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Given that the concerns which were raised during the consultation process were around one service provider providing palliative care and given that that situation still stands, what processes have been used to determine whether or not this is an urgent matter, and has it involved any community input?

MS GALLAGHER: As I said, I am meeting with the healthcare consumers in the next week or so, or my office is—I am not sure if I am personally. I will discuss it further with them. The arrangements for palliative care provision now that the proposal has changed really are that, for the foreseeable future, the Little Company of Mary will be remaining as the sole provider, other than the Palliative Care Society, of course, which receive about $300,000 a year to provide palliative care services in addition to services provided by the community health centres and by GPs. The


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