Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 4 Hansard (26 March) . .
in the tasks I know they take very seriously to ensure patient care. I can certainly reassure the Assembly and members of the community that there is no suggestion that patient care in any way will be comprised. The doctors have given ACT Health that assurance.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Health. Canberra Hospital staff doctors are threatening industrial action from Monday, 30 March. Minister since 11 March 2015, when the Fair Work Commission approved protected industrial action by doctors, what directions have you given to ACT Health concerning this matter?
MR CORBELL: I have indicated to my officials they should continue to engage in good faith negotiations with this small but important number of senior medical officers to seek to resolve their concerns. Our negotiating approach remains open, engaged, trying to talk through the issues and trying to reach satisfactory resolution of these outstanding matters. That will continue to be the approach I adopt.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, since ACT Health advised you this week that industrial action by the doctors was proposed from Monday, what new or additional directions have you given to ACT Health?
MR CORBELL: My approach has been consistent throughout, and that is to stay engaged and informed, and to ensure that our negotiating team continue to adopt a proactive, collaborative and good faith approach. That has been exactly what we have been doing.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, are you negotiating with staff doctors to prevent the proposed industrial action?
MR CORBELL: Of course we continue to negotiate with the staff and their representatives, as we should, and we remain committed to negotiating to reach a satisfactory conclusion of these small number of outstanding matters.
MR HANSON: Minister, do you have confidence in the ability of ACT Health to find a solution to the current dispute and stop industrial action from occurring on Monday?
MR CORBELL: I have confidence that both sides will be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion. I trust that that is able to be achieved quite promptly. Whether or not that is the case we will have to see, but I am confident that both sides wish to see this matter resolved. It is with that good faith that ACT Health and the government will approach these discussions.
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