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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 522 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

The third health problem I would like to raise relates to a problem identified by Professor Kearney as long ago as 1990. In his report on the proposed new clinical school, he raised concerns that our public hospitals have a very low ratio of salaried medical officers to visiting medical officers. We know the problems of dealing with the visiting medical officers and their salary rates; we know that they are higher than in the rest of the country; and we know that efforts are under way to negotiate new contracts with these particular specialists. I must say at this point that there is no doubt about the quality of services that many of these specialists provide; but, at the end of the day, the community has to pay for them, and their services have to be delivered at a fair rate. A fair rate is not way in excess of the average around this country. So, I wish Mr Moore luck on that one, and I trust that his promise to get it sorted out by next week was made against the background of an understanding of those issues. I am sure that he wants to deal with it quickly; but next week, I think, is a bit of a tall order. I hope that the Health Minister moves to redress this problem. I think they are issues that have to be dealt with quickly, and I wish him luck again.

Tidy Towns Award

MR HIRD (5.20): Mr Speaker, I rise to inform the house that, in the recent Tidy Towns competition, Belconnen won the local competition - the first time ever it was successful - and in the national competition it was commended and was runner-up. I think this is a fine effort on the part of a lot of enthusiastic people in Belconnen, who have shown that they are dedicated to lifting Belconnen in the Tidy Towns competition. I believe that their efforts are to be commended. As I said, the judges of the national competition commended their efforts. I thought I would inform the house of what is happening in the electorate of Ginninderra with respect to the suburbs within Belconnen.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Assembly adjourned at 5.21 pm until Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 10.30 am

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