Page 4077 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 24 November 1993

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So what was considered urgent in their letter - "To this end a confinement is seen as urgent" - has now changed. The compere said:

So, a woman in the early stages of labour, early stages of labour, the idea is the AMA is now saying, shift her to another hospital.

So what was considered urgent before, a confinement, is now not considered urgent and she is going to be shipped out of town. Dr Grahame Bates said:


She is on her way. This demonstrates the disgraceful behaviour of these people. The community is entitled to know that these things are going on. The pressure is on them. The pressure has to continue to be put on them to get into arbitration and to sort this matter out. This house, without dissent, called on the AMA to go to arbitration.

Ms Follett: That is tomorrow.

MR BERRY: That is tomorrow. They will get their chance tomorrow. We will just see how they go. They will go to the Industrial Relations Commission and they will get their chance. They will be able to talk about arbitration there. They will be able to talk about conciliation. The game is up tomorrow. They are going to have their chance to produce the goods and show the people of Canberra that they are prepared to act in good faith. Certainly there is no sign of it yet.

Hospital Activity Levels

MR DE DOMENICO: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Health, Mr Berry. Mr Berry, according to your latest ACT Health activity report, between the September quarter of 1992 and the September quarter of this year activity levels in the ACT hospitals actually increased by 2.4 per cent. I refer you, Minister, to the comments you made to the Estimates Committee where you said, "Well, we have been funded for the same amount of activity as last year". Minister, does the budget blow-out in Health announced yesterday correlate with that increase of 2.4 per cent? Do you still believe that the health system will service only 50,500 patients this year?

MR BERRY: If we get the doctors back to work, yes.

MR DE DOMENICO: I have a supplementary question, Madam Speaker. The figures that you released yesterday, Minister, the activity report, said that there was a 2.4 per cent increase in activity. Does that 2.4 per cent increase correlate with the $3.1m blow-out that you have been responsible for since the beginning of the year?

MR BERRY: This is a whole heap of nonsense. This is the first quarter of a full year. Let us not forget that the budget has not even been passed yet. We are talking about the first quarter of a financial year and changes are implemented throughout the year. But I would have to say that, given the performance of the VMOs, at this stage it is difficult to predict what the budget outcome - - -

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