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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (28 October) . .

Page.. 3669..

MS BURCH: That would be a matter for the Education and Training Directorate to negotiate with the support teachers. But let us be clear that this was a pilot program that was piloted in a number of schools last year. It is certainly a change of support arrangements, but this has been a long time coming, and I think it is the sensible and appropriate way forward.


MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health concerning unsustainable growth of the health budget. In April 2014, you warned that "the high level of growth was unsustainable". On 21 October 2014, ACT Medicare Local released its submission to the ACT 2015-16 budget consultation. The submission is subtitled "Different, not more". It said:

It's time for whole of system strategic leadership to address the critical issues facing the ACT health system ...


Making hospital spending more efficient should be a high priority.

It said that the current expenditure on health is 31 per cent of the ACT budget and growing and that this is not sustainable.

Minister, what are you doing to ensure that the health budget is sustainable?

MS GALLAGHER: We continue to drive efficiencies and target our investment in the hospital. We are also changing the provision we make for growth as an incentive to minimise the growth envelope into the outyears. It sounds easy to say that, but minimising growth in health care is not doing things when you really want to find the big savings. The big savings in a place like Canberra are to not offer the level of service we do—like not offer cardiothoracic surgery.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe! It is not a conversation.

MS GALLAGHER: They are some of the issues, as one example. I am not saying we are going to do that, but it is a very high-level specialised area of health care, and because of the volume we get, it is expensive to run that service. These are the choices we have made.

In terms of ACT Medicare Local's submission, I do not have much disagreement with the submission. It calls for whole-of-system strategic leadership, which involves the private health system, GPs, primary care providers and the public system working together to deliver that. But I would also say that a lot of their submission related to "you stop doing things and provide us with the money". This is at a time when the Medicare locals are being defunded and established into primary healthcare networks and we do not know the form that they are going to take.

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