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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2432 ..

Mr Corbell: Don’t mislead the Assembly, Mrs Dunne.

Mr Hanson: Did he say, “mislead”?

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, let’s just have the question.

MRS DUNNE: I will ignore it, only to say in passing, Mr Speaker, that I cannot mislead the Assembly by seeking information from the minister. Mind you, she can mislead—

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Mrs Dunne can and does!

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, sit down.

Mr Hargreaves: She’s very capable of it.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne is asking a question.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My supplementary question is: minister, what are the health outcomes of patients being downgraded from category 1 to category 2a?

MS GALLAGHER: Well, I am not a doctor and I cannot speculate on that. But what I can say to the members who are interested is that this policy was agreed to by the surgeons themselves. It was heavily consulted upon. On Tuesday night—actually, it might not have been Tuesday night, but it was certainly within the last week—the surgical services task force met. It is the surgeons representing both hospitals, senior surgeons, the surgical bookings area, New South Wales health and ACT Health. It was asked of the surgeons whether they felt there was a problem a la the allegations being put by the opposition, and none of the surgeons agreed that there was a problem. They agreed that the policy that is in place is working and with their support.

Until someone provides me with some evidence—I know Mr Hanson has been ringing around the surgeons trying to find someone to come out and say that I am a liar—to say that the advice I have is to the contrary, then that is the challenge for the opposition. I have a feeling you think you may have something, so bring it out so I can investigate it.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary?

MR HANSON: Minister, do you agree with the policy that only a patient’s doctor is permitted to downgrade a patient’s elective surgery category?

MS GALLAGHER: That is the policy that is in place, as agreed by the surgeons themselves.

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