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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 8 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3510..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

feelings about how doctors have input into management decisions at the hospital. But in relation to clinical review processes and clinical privileges processes, I think those processes are robust at the hospital.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, why did you not act earlier to ensure that clinical governance at the maternity unit was adequate?

MS GALLAGHER: The governance arrangements at the maternity unit are robust. The review has identified some concerns that we have to address. I just do not have that section of the report in front of me, but there is an executive director in this area, there are directors, there are views expressed around how we can strengthen those clinical procedures within the unit. We will consult with staff before implementing any changes, although we have already identified that we need an extra position within that unit to take some of the load off the clinical director, to free them up to focus on clinical decision making rather than administrative decision making. So all of that is in place and we are consulting on it at the moment.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter?

MS PORTER: Minister, could you tell the Assembly if the constant negative focus from the opposition on this matter is having a detrimental effect on the staff of the Canberra Hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: I certainly recognise the public interest in this matter, and I think it is important. I think some of the negativity being expressed by the opposition and their constant focus on the maternity service is having an impact on staff. In a meeting I held recently with staff, when they raised this with me, I reminded them that the opposition were not after them per se; they were after me.

Mr Smyth: What a victim complex.

MS GALLAGHER: Well, no. I said, "If it's any consolation to you, I am the target of their attention, not you."I was just trying to explain it. When people who do not know the operations of this place are brought into the public focus like this unit has been, some of how it plays out is a mystery to them and needs to be interpreted. I have done that and let them know that they should not read the negative complaints being about them as a service; they should understand that it is the Liberals' unrelenting political attack on me and that I can stand up for myself.

Health—general practice superclinic

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a question without notice?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I note that most of those opposite have been tuned in to Dr Phil or Oprah Winfrey on their television screens in front of them. But I would like to ask a question.

Members interjecting—


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