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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1828 ..

If so (a) how many claims have been settled and (b) how many are in course of settlement;

If no monitoring is being conducted, why not.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

On the 17 February 2003, the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce appointed an insurance advisor to assist bushfire affected residents resolve claims disputes with their home and contents insurance companies. As at 9 April 2003, the insurance advisor had received 32 issues.

Of the 32 issues received, 24 have been resolved to the satisfaction of residents. The remaining 8 issues involve ongoing negotiations between residents and their insurers.

The Government has not been monitoring the numbers of successful claims outcomes, preferring to invest resources in resolving disputes between bushfire affected residents and their insurers. Insurers are reluctant to provide information on claim settlements due to its commercial sensitivity.

Health-staff recruitment

(Question No 570)

Mr Smyth

asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

In relation to the Productivity Commission Report on government services:

In The Canberra Times of 11 February the Minister said that there was 'room for improvement in staffing levels' in the ACT health system. How many people does the Minister consider the health system need to recruit and in what areas;

Can the Minister estimate how much funding would need to be allocated to such a recruitment campaign;

Is the issue of additional staff recruitment one that will be considered in the budget context.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

The statement about room for improvement was a reference to the fact that there are vacancies in almost every profession in the ACT Health system, and ACT Health is conducting recruitment programs on a regular basis to fill these vacancies. However, in the context of national and international health professional shortages, it is virtually impossible to guarantee that all staff vacancies will be filled in the ACT. It is also worth noting that the data published in the Productivity Commission report referred to the 2000-01 financial year, which was during the previous Government's term of office.

As discussed above, recruitment is a standard, ongoing activity for the ACT health system. I do not believe that additional resourcing is required, and believe that improved rates of pay will make substantial improvements to recruitment and retention of health professionals in the ACT.

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