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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2566..


MR STANHOPE

(continuing):

organisation, one of the significant providers of indemnity insurance to the medical profession in Australia:

In response to your specific reforms, we would initially comment that: We would expect that the reforms will flush out the majority of claims or possible claims for earlier reporting than is currently the case...All Tort Reform has a delayed impact (and indeed normally gives rise to a claim spike) before positive benefits are shown. We recognise that the proposed reforms in the ACT have made an admirable attempt to minimize any claim spike.

In light of these positive responses to the government's reform package, it is disappointing that there is still some confusion amongst some members of the medical profession around the form, extent and value of the reforms that the government has introduced.

MR HARGREAVES

: I thank the attorney for clarifying the issue. As a supplementary question, I ask: what can the government do to reduce the confusion that obviously exists in the minds of doctors? What is the essential aim of the government's reform package?

MR STANHOPE

: I addressed many of those issues in the answer given to Mr Smyth's question and alluded to them, of course, in my answer to your question, Mr Hargreaves. Suffice it to say, let me conclude by repeating, that the government have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months through this whole process of reform-this is the second package of legislation that we have introduced in relation to tort law reform-to include the professions in all of our deliberations. We have consulted consistently and regularly with the AMA in relation to the package of legislation tabled this week.

In addition to that, as I have indicated, I announced in April the essential content of this legislation. I tabled the details of that. I made them publicly available and said at the time in a statement that they were the essential elements of the reform package that the government would introduce in June, with one exception. I was very open about the one exception. That was that the government had not concluded its position on the statute of limitations in relation to children.

Except for that, all other aspects of this reform package were released by me in April. They were provided to the AMA in April further to consultations which were held on a regular basis with the AMA. There is an issue there, of course. I do not know the nature or basis of consultations between the AMA and its members, but I assume that the AMA, like all other unions, keeps its members fully informed of its deliberations.

Fundraising

MRS CROSS

: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Quinlan in his capacity as Treasurer and minister for emergency services.

Mr Stanhope

: Just Treasurer.

MRS CROSS

: Bill's got emergency services now. Excellent. Any minister. Actually, I'd like to ask Mr Quinlan this question in his capacity as Treasurer.


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