Page 3318 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 20 August 2008
shut, we will answer what the people are asking for—that is, they want GPs in the areas of greatest demand.
Ms Gallagher: And where are they coming from?
MR SMYTH: Where are they coming from? There she goes. The oncology centre at Wagga managed to attract doctors; it managed to attract the allied health professionals; it managed to attract the people who were needed. It worked with the local GPs, and that is what we will do. What we have said is that this will go to areas of demand, areas where there are not—
Ms Gallagher: Preferential treatment!
MR SMYTH: No. The federal government, both previous and existing, sends doctors to areas of demand with incentives, and that is what we will do. If you are against that, if you are against helping people get to areas of demand—
Ms Gallagher: I’m against public money being spent on particular surgeries.
MR SMYTH: There it is, Mr Speaker—she is against public money. So Katy Gallagher is against the federal government initiative, which the Rudd government continues, to give assistance to get doctors to rural and outer metropolitan areas.
Mr Stanhope: It’s a commonwealth responsibility.
Ms Gallagher: Exactly. It’s the commonwealth’s responsibility.
Mr Stanhope: It’s private medicine.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Order, members!
MR SMYTH: Katy Gallagher is against getting doctors to areas of need. That is the health minister’s answer: “We are against everything. When somebody tries to make a difference, we’re just against it.” The only thing the health minister is good at is throwing her hands up and saying: “It’s out of my control. I can’t fix it. There’s nothing I can do.” We hear that from her all the time. We have heard it from her with regard to the opening of their own clinics, which they have not achieved; we have heard it from her on the closure of certain other clinics—
Ms Gallagher: The clinics are open.
MR SMYTH: There is an Erindale clinic, is there?
Ms Gallagher: There is a Tuggeranong clinic, yes.
MR SMYTH: There is an Erindale clinic?
Ms Gallagher: Yes, there is. There’s a Tuggeranong clinic. I’m not sure if it’s—