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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2420..


Mr Seselja: That is what it says.

MS GALLAGHER: That is not true. The letter provides several options. If the doctor-

Mr Hanson: They are impossible options.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you; order!

MS GALLAGHER: If the doctor does not believe the patient can wait longer than 30 days then there is a referral to another surgeon or there is additional operating time provided to that surgeon, and they need to make themselves available for it.

Mr Smyth: You've already crossed the 30 days.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Smyth.

MS GALLAGHER: Those are the options available. It is simply incorrect, what the opposition are alleging.

MR SPEAKER: Now you can ask your supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how do you reconcile your answer with the letter that has now surfaced which clearly shows that your department does in fact ask doctors to downgrade patients to secure a date for surgery?

MS GALLAGHER: The letter does not do that, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why is it that under your policy doctors are forced to downgrade patients in order to secure a surgery date?

MS GALLAGHER: They are not, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Minister, why is it that the letter says that if the doctor accepts this date, they should please recategorise the patient as a 2A stage procedure?

MS GALLAGHER: What it means is that if the doctor accepts that the patient can wait for surgery outside-

Mr Hanson: They're waiting anyway.

Mr Seselja: It's just a matter of whether they're actually going to get a date.

MS GALLAGHER: Sorry-you have got to give the surgeons a bit of credit here that they understand the business they are operating in. So, what the letter says is, "If


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