Page 508 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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Mr Smyth: Not true. Prove it.

Mrs Burke: Provide the evidence.

Mr Smyth: Prove it. It’s not the evidence.

MR SPEAKER: Cease interjecting!


Mr Smyth: 200 lost under the previous Labor government.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, I hear the interjections that I know I should not respond to, but there is no evidence to say that there were 200 beds lost—absolutely no evidence to support that.

Mr Smyth: Where is your evidence?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, order!

MS GALLAGHER: I will table today the following document—in fact I have it right here:

ACT public hospitals—Available beds by year—Graph and table.

This shows the dramatic decline in bed numbers between 2001 and 2002—in fact over a longer period than that. I table that document today; this copy has my annotations on it, so I will get my office to bring down a clean copy. That shows that the allegation being put to the Assembly, that there were 200 beds cut under the previous Labor government, is wrong and that all cuts—the significant cuts, 114 cuts—occurred under the previous government. We have replaced those beds and we are doing more.

We have a plan for the future, unlike those opposite. The plan is about creating capacity in the hospital system for 2020, up to 2020, when the health tsunami will hit this community. We need to be ready. We have a plan. We have been criticised by those opposite for having a plan, but time will tell that we are doing the right thing—and those opposite are doing nothing.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, given your suggestion that the AMA report card was part of a political campaign, which part of the AMA’s methodology was flawed?

MS GALLAGHER: I would suggest the fact that they did not speak to jurisdictions in putting their information together. They did not seek advice from jurisdictions. They did not reflect on what jurisdictions were doing. I would suggest from my point of view as the ACT health minister that there is one flaw, one significant flaw.

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