Page 525 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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educational outcomes for children and young people by creating strong and effective working relationships between families, communities and their schools. I congratulate the Charnwood community health committee and the members for Ginninderra for being involved in this initiative and giving it that extra support. I also commend ACT schools, particularly Charnwood primary school, for the work they do every day to build strong, supportive relationships with their local communities.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.31), in reply: I thank members for their very positive contributions in support of the motion. One of the avenues the Charnwood community health centre is keen to pursue in its endeavour to have bulk-billing medical services available to the citizens of north-west Belconnen is the incorporation of nurse practitioners into such a facility. I did not mention that before, but I was reminded by Mr Stefaniak’s mentioning that they were looking at a number of models.

Having spent 12 years in the Northern Territory in the sixties and seventies, working as a nurse in remote indigenous communities without recourse to a GP for many weeks, and even months, at a time, I am well aware that patients often present with fairly minor ailments and that these can be successfully treated by an experienced nursing sister. This government has recently released a discussion paper for public comment and consultation pertaining to nurse practitioners. I eagerly await the responses and look forward to the introduction and passing of legislation that will enable suitably qualified nurse practitioners to work in medical practices in support, perhaps, of GPs. I believe this will assist in reducing the delay in residents obtaining appointments to bulk-billing doctors. Such a medical service would also help to alleviate the pressure on the accident and emergency department of Calvary Hospital. As has previously been mentioned, a large number of people are forced to go there because of the lack of an alternative.

I believe that everything that has been said in this place this afternoon not only serves to highlight the concern that the Charnwood community health committee has for health services in the north-west of Belconnen, but also affirms the steps they have taken. I conclude my remarks by again congratulating the members of the Charnwood community health committee, in particular, the committee chair, Roger Nicoll, and the secretary, Michael Pilbrow, who have worked tirelessly to return appropriate medical services to Charnwood, Flynn, Fraser, Macgregor and Dunlop. I commend the motion to the Assembly and seek the support of all members.

Motion agreed to.

Canberra Hospital

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (5.33): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the failure of The Canberra Hospital to attain full four year accreditation from the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS);

(b) this failure indicates that The Canberra Hospital did not meet at least one of the 19 mandatory ACHS criteria; and

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