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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6112 ..


Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Mrs Dunne is asking for Ms Gallagher to make a comment on what somebody else has said. She could not possibly know that.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Hargreaves. I think the question is in order.

MS GALLAGHER: That is certainly the advice that Dr Gallagher has since provided me, and I think it comes out in the clinical services review, where it says that the systems in place were not adequate to respond to concerns when they originally arose. I have been up front about that since receiving that report—and, indeed, getting those complaints directly from the doctors, which occurred after this issue became public in February.

I said that these issues should have been dealt with. They were not dealt with. If they had been dealt with, there could have been an entirely different outcome. It has not reflected well on management in that area. Over time, I have been given some very poor advice, because I repeatedly asked my department whether they had received any concerns around workplace culture. I had done that after receiving the letters from the visiting medical officers who wrote to me in December and I was told that no complaints had been received and that there were no issues. Obviously, that information provided to me was incorrect. There were issues, they were being raised at the local level and they were not being adequately dealt with. That is not to occur again in any area of ACT Health.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Thank you. Minister, do you therefore accept that when the chief executive said no specific complaints had been brought to the attention of ACT Health on 17 February that was not true? And when you said, “Well, what issues, Ross? This is the frustration I have” on 17 February, that also at the time was not true?

MS GALLAGHER: At the time the comments were made we were operating on the advice that we had before us. The advice we had before us—and those comments were made based on the advice—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Indeed, in one way there were no complaints. There were no formal complaints lodged about the obstetrics and gynaecology unit.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you; let us hear from the minister.

MS GALLAGHER: The issues that have come to the attention of myself and the Chief Executive of ACT Health, which came after I asked that they go down and meet


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