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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 477 ..

services across the whole childhood and adolescent development span, an increased capacity for the non-government sector to work in partnership with the government and improved integration in the broader service delivery sector, including statutory services and the commonwealth—all with the view of improving the quality and alignment of the services. We expect a date for the commitment of these services to be in December this year and I understand that the current arrangements and agreements will be extended to allow for that.

So we have a consultative process that started in December, and before December, through to March, and contracts will be extended. As to how other government departments, and indeed the community sector, are brought on board, we will look to the feedback from the community sector and work through those as we go, not only extending the contracts but looking at the new purchasing arrangements.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Does the minister acknowledge that, in setting a time frame for a major review of the policy, the needs and constraints of the consultation participants should be taken into account at the beginning of the process?

MS BURCH: It is my understanding that the consultative plan provided to current service providers and initial discussions started in December last year, with the discussion paper out in December and feedback in March. All service providers or all services captured are under this new purchasing framework; the department has had ongoing discussions with them. They are aware that their existing contracts will be extended, with the purchasing framework coming in line in October. That is our goal at the moment. And again, if the sector is finding limitations in responding to that, I ask you to bring that to me. I am certainly not aware of it through the department.

Health—abortion advice

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, it was alleged on the ABC news on 16 February that a patient at the Canberra Hospital was advised to have an abortion despite six other specialist opinions that stated the baby would be born healthy. Minister, will you confirm that this incident did occur, when were you informed of this incident, what advice did you receive and what action did you take?

MS GALLAGHER: That matter is currently being pursued through legal avenues and I have been advised that I am not able to comment, other than to say that, with respect to the case as presented on the ABC news, the story was one-sided. It is appropriate that the other side be heard, and it will be heard in court, if it gets that far.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?

MR HANSON: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, in the same incident it is alleged that critical file notes were removed prior to the patient receiving her notes. Can you confirm that this is true and, if so, what action did you take over this matter?

MS GALLAGHER: As I said, that matter is being pursued legally. I have received advice from my department that differs to the presentation of facts as presented on

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