Page 407 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008

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It is difficult—and I will take some more advice around the issues relating to feedback to the family; again, I cannot recall the exact advice I got—but there was a review undertaken into the situation that Mrs Burke alludes to. I will check as to why the family have not been contacted, if they have not. My recollection was that clinical staff were dealing with the family, but I will take that on notice and get back to you because my understanding is that the review was undertaken and I certainly received advice on it.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Mrs Burke.

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, you also said at the time that there were no resource issues. Minister, what do you say to the family now sitting in the gallery with regard to the seven-month delay and why have you, your department or your office not contacted them, as promised?

MS GALLAGHER: The comment I made around resources was that it was not an issue around money or support for that family at the time. It was not around resources. There were, from my recollection, issues around the ordering of a particular drug required for treatment. But, again, I will get the brief that I got and I am happy to speak to the family directly—

Mrs Burke: But you did not personally? You said you were going to.

MS GALLAGHER: I have to say, Mrs Burke, that the family have not contacted me directly either. I am more than happy to speak with them and I will apologise to them if the proper process has not been undertaken. But my job, which was to ask for a full clinical review of that case, was undertaken and advice was provided to me about that. It was not around resources.

The argument you were trying to run at the time was that there was not enough money, enough staff or enough capacity to provide the services that we provide.

Mrs Burke: Supplies of resources. No suppliers.

MS GALLAGHER: That is right. The Auditor-General had a look at that and a lot of people have had a look at that and you have not been able to come up with any evidence—and nor has anyone else—that that is the issue.

Mrs Burke: Do what the health services commissioner says.

MS GALLAGHER: We will wait and see what the health services commissioner says. I do speak with her as well. There is not an issue. We have the best resourced health system in the country. All of the reports show that. It is not about resources. Occasionally there are issues around ordering of equipment or a particular drug which, as I remember in this case, was the issue that led to the situation that we spoke about last year.

I will undertake to get back to the family. I will find the brief. I will see the advice that was taken. It was not about resources. It has never been around resources.

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