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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2723 ..

Proposed Select Committee

Debate resumed.

Debate (on motion by Mr Rugendyke) adjourned.

Proposed Inquiry - Public Hospital Waiting Lists

Debate resumed.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.02): I move:

After paragraph (1) insert the following new paragraphs:

"(1A) the management of the operating theatres including utilisation of theatres and the allocation of theatre time to practitioners.

(1B) the effect on waiting lists of the allocation of the Medicare bonus funding and any Commonwealth Specific Purpose Payments.".

At the outset I wish to congratulate Mr Rugendyke for the foresight that he has shown in moving this motion. I think it is a good motion, a good idea, and I am pleased to know that the Minister for Health is at least outwardly positive and supportive of the motion, which I think is good. We all know how difficult the issue of waiting lists and waiting times is. It is an issue that very many people in Canberra are significantly concerned about and affected by.

The amendment that I have moved I believe broadens the inquiry slightly. It will allow the committee, should the Assembly support this motion, to touch on a wider range of issues of relevance to the waiting lists and waiting times and hospital procedures. I do commend the amendment to the Assembly. I spoke with Mr Rugendyke about the amendment. Mr Rugendyke has indicated to me that he believes it complements the motion that he has moved and I am pleased that he has that attitude.

I will not go into any significant detail on the issue of the waiting lists and the waiting times other than to say that throughout this year Mr Moore and I have exchanged some commentary on them on a number of occasions. I will not dwell on the issue, but we have had throughout this year the difficulty of the VMO dispute. We have had difficulties with the nurses dispute. We have had the difficulties occasioned, we are told, by the usual

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