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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (27 May) . . Page.. 643 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

I would like to be in on that as well". However, with regard to salaried specialists - and they are the ones we are advertising for - I must say that we need to be quite specific that we are advertising for those salaried medical specialists at basically New South Wales levels as well. So, in our negotiations, we are looking to have New South Wales levels for both the salaried specialists and the VMOs.

I am very pleased with the results of our call for expressions of interest. We have not said, "There are positions available. Please come along", because that would be inappropriate. We have called for expressions of interest. In some of the areas in which we thought positions would be difficult to fill - and certainly one area that I am aware of - we have been able to gain some expressions of interest. So, that has been a quite fruitful exercise. But let me say that, not only does a decision as to whether we employ somebody in that sort of field depend on the negotiations, but we have to take into account morale in the hospital and issues like that.

With regard to the National Capital Private Hospital, I do not believe that that has increased our difficulties at all. The second part of the question on the National Capital Private Hospital, I believe, was: Will VMOs be able to work in both - - -

Mr Hargreaves: No; will they be able to work in the Canberra Hospital in a private capacity, which they can do now?

MR MOORE: Will VMOs be able to work in the Canberra Hospital in their private capacity? That is really how they work at the moment. The VMOs are employed on a contract basis with the Canberra Hospital. To the best of my knowledge - and I am so informed - we do not have a contract that says, "If you work in another hospital, you will not be able to work at the Canberra Hospital". Nor should we, because they are visiting - - -

Mr Berry: Will they be able to do private work in the public hospital - - -

Mr Stanhope: If they do not sign their contracts?

MR MOORE: I believe that I have answered your question; but, if you need clarification, perhaps you could put it in a supplementary question.

MR HARGREAVES: I will ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I think the answer to the second half of that one is, "I do not know". But that is all right. My supplementary question is: How important a part of the Government's strategy to overcome the problems caused by the failure to resolve the negotiations with the VMOs will enrolling salaried specialists play, and will the Minister give a commitment to increase the number of salaried specialists?

Ms Carnell: You have already asked that question.

MR HARGREAVES: No, I have not.

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