Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 November 2007) . . Page.. 3643 ..
No more training places for the ACT. It will not encourage more doctors to become GPs. No, but training places and incentives to operate in areas where GPs are drastically short will. And what was the commonwealth’s response to that? No; nothing for the ACT—no training places, no more medical school places, no extension of the incentives program.
In a sense, whilst Senator Humphries says that all we are doing is sitting on our hands, what has he done? Nothing. No more training places, no more medical school places, no more extension of the incentives program—nothing. There is nothing to attract more GPs to the ACT.
Mrs Burke goes on and criticises the commonwealth system as well. But again, she blames the ACT. This is really quite an odd position. Essentially Mrs Burke’s argument was that if the national system is not working then the ACT needs to do something to fix it. In fact, the ABC piece on this says that “the opposition says the territory government should be working with the commonwealth to fix the Canberra doctor shortage”. Mrs Burke says:
Asking for the ACT to be a designated area of work force shortage is one thing, but if we’ve got a system nationally that really isn’t helping GPs and/or patient outcomes, can’t we look at that …
This is what I said to Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop on 7 June last year. It is what I said to the Prime Minister on 24 July last year. It is what I wrote to Abbott about on 1 November last year. It is what I rewrote to Tony Abbott about on 4 June this year. It is what I wrote to Tony Abbott about on 21 August this year. On 29 August I wrote to Tony Abbott again and said, “Please, Minister Abbott, declare the ACT an area of workforce shortage. Please increase the number of GP training places. Please increase the incentives for GPs to bulk-bill. Please extend the outer metropolitan provisions to the whole of the ACT.”
That is what the ACT government is doing. That is what the ACT government has been doing for a long time. The commonwealth have said no on every single approach to them. Gary Humphries has done nothing. He has sat on his hands while we have tried to deliver something for the people of Canberra in providing more access to GPs.
Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Answers to questions on notice
Questions Nos 1734, 1729 and 1730
DR FOSKEY: Under standing order 118A, I would like to ask the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services for a reason why the question I placed on notice on 17 October, question No 1734, has not yet been answered.
Mr Hargreaves: About what, Dr Foskey?
DR FOSKEY: That is the one about the trial of recycling in Glebe Park.