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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2707 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

I will support Ms Horodny's amendment, and I commend to the Assembly the entire motion as it now stands. I also thank members for their comments on what is a very significant issue and one which, I think, we will hear a great deal more of in years to come.

Amendment (Ms Horodny's) agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Motion of Censure

MR OSBORNE (12.01): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion of censure of the Minister for Health.

Leave granted.


That this Assembly censures the Minister for Health for failing to act in accordance with the Assembly's wishes as expressed in its resolution of 24 August 1995 which rejected the Government's decision to remove salaried medical practitioner services from community health centres unless the health centres are managed as 100 per cent bulk billing practices for general practitioner services.

It is with great regret that I move this censure against the Chief Minister today. However, I feel that it is necessary to make clear to Mrs Carnell and to the people of Canberra that there are more than just several Liberal members here making decisions. In my first speech in March I made reference to the sad fact that the people of Canberra do not generally hold this Assembly in high regard. Unfortunately, when a motion is passed and the Chief Minister appears to thumb her nose at it and at the will of the Assembly, I am not surprised.

This whole situation about the salaried medical practitioners has arisen because, when I initially had a meeting with Mrs Carnell in her office and she discussed it with me, I asked would the services remain and would they continue to bulk-bill. My understanding was that Mrs Carnell told me that it would happen and that it would be a pretty painless changeover. It was only on this basis that I agreed to the removal of the salaried doctors, as I believed that the people who needed looking after the most were going to be taken care of, that is, the people who cannot afford it, the pensioners and the health care card holders. As far as I am concerned, they were the ones I was mainly interested in looking after. Mrs Carnell may disagree, but the impression I got was that we were just duplicating the Commonwealth funding, that it would be a painless exercise, and that the same doctors would remain and no-one would be adversely affected.

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