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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 November 2007) . . Page.. 3251 ..

That this is occurred is unfortunate, but I think an appropriate response from our community would be to rally around this student and give her the assistance she needs—

Mrs Dunne: By calling her a liar?

MR BARR: to quit smoking.

Mrs Dunne: That is what you did. You called her a liar.

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mrs Dunne.

MR BARR: My response to the direct question I was asked by the journalists in relation to the veracity of the claims made by student was that it was not the case that the student was given permission to smoke. That is the position of the school, and I stand by that. (Time expired.)

Health—oral and maxillofacial surgery

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, you are now the third minister of the Stanhope government who has been made acutely aware of the serious problems regarding oral maxillofacial surgery at the Canberra Hospital over the past six years. At a briefing on Monday, 12 November 2007, officials from ACT Health gave assurances that the problems regarding less than optimal patient outcomes for oral maxillofacial surgery were finally being resolved. Minister, after six years and three health ministers, what are your plans to make the oral facial surgery service fully operational with the correct mix of appropriately qualified oral facial surgeons and plastic surgeons? What are your plans?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Pratt for the question. As I alluded to in my answer to Mrs Burke, going into these individual cases is not something that I am going to continue. I think these matters are serious. The allegations that have been made by one doctor are serious. They need to go through the clinical privileges committee, which they are going through. They need to be reviewed, and we need to see whether there are any concerns. At the moment, no concerns have been confirmed; there have been no cases of less than optimal patient outcomes confirmed. We need to get that chant going across there. Steve, you need to write “alleged”. Whoever writes the questions for the Liberal Party needs to start writing “alleged” in them, because people are going to move soon to protect their reputations. They are going to move to protect their reputations.

There are a couple of points that need to be made about this. The decision to discontinue OMFS at the Canberra Hospital was made by Kate Carnell and Michael Moore. I have read the papers. I have read letters from a doctor back in 1997 raising concerns around the capacity at the Canberra Hospital. As the acting minister, Mr Corbell, said when I was on leave, this is a complicated matter. It essentially involves a demarcation dispute.

Mrs Burke: No it does not. I refute that.

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