Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3826 ..
Mrs Dunne (continuing):
by the head of emergency medicine at the Canberra Hospital. We do not need to have a rear-view mirror vision of what the government thinks it wants to talk about when it comes to health. I would like a specific answer to a specific question.
MR SPEAKER: It is not a point of order, Mrs Dunne. Just resume your seat.
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: there is no point of order. Mr Stanhope is outlining the pressures that face the health system. He is making the point that you cannot deal with accident and emergency in isolation, and I think his answer is entirely in order.
MR SPEAKER: The minister is entitled to answer the question the way he wants to. You asked a question in relation to particular services at a hospital. I think the minister is explaining to you how you cannot consider them in isolation, and he is entitled to do so.
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will conclude by drawing attention to the major structural changes that have occurred in relation to the department of health. Following on from our determination to implement the Gallop report, which we did, members will be aware that we commissioned a significant study by Mick Reid, ex-Director General of Health in New South Wales, who produced a report that was almost universally accepted within the sector in the ACT about the way forward in relation to enhanced health care delivery in the ACT. That involved the need for us to actually develop a collaborative and integrated system for health care delivery in the ACT, as a result of which we are now implementing major structural changes to health. We have dispensed with the failed purchaser/provider model, something else bequeathed to us by the Liberal Party and, of course, another experiment that failed.
As a result of this, legislation will be introduced-and I hope it will receive the support of the Assembly-in relation to the final aspects of the restructure of the portfolio. We now have for the first time in eight years an integrated approach to health care delivery, through a department that is responsive, responsible and accountable, which will, in time, I am sure, lead to far better outcomes in health care delivery in the ACT.
They are just some of the things we have done. As you say, Mr Speaker, they put into perspective some of the challenges we faced in terms of the enormous and appalling shortcomings that we inherited from the Liberals when we came to office, particularly in relation to the areas that I have touched on, and of course it does reflect very much on our capacity in a whole range of areas. We are dealing with those, and we are determined to meet the challenge.
In that context, there will be a second health summit, which will again involve, I think, 100 to 150 participants, to finalise a health action plan. That will occur in the next week or so. All of those involved in the development of that plan will come back together again for the delivery and launching of a health action plan which will inform our program for the next number of years in relation to health care delivery.
In that context, of course, after a year in this place, we all wait with bated breath-but with absolutely no expectation-to see just one policy initiative from the Liberal Party on anything. When are you going to give us some policies? When are you going to give us a bit of vision, other than this mad scramble for advancement? We know you are a bit