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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3573 ..

Health and Disability—Standing Committee


MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (10.55): Pursuant to the order of the Assembly of 1 July 2008 I present the following report:

Health and Disability—Standing Committee—Report 9—Closure of the Wanniassa Medical Centre, dated 25 August 2008, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

As the Assembly is aware, on 7 August the Assembly decided to inquire into the closure of the Wanniassa medical centre in the Tuggeranong Valley. The committee received eight submissions, which are listed at the back of the report, and we held a hearing on Thursday, 14 August. A number of witnesses appeared at that hearing.

Given the short amount of time that the committee has had to look into this issue, this report has, I believe, covered off a number of areas, including the relationship between the government and general practitioners, who are, of course, private organisations over which the government has no control. Paragraph 1.6 of the report states:

The closure of the centre has highlighted a number of issues that are discussed in this report. These are: the shortage of practicing GPs in the ACT; the role of the corporations in health service delivery; and the immediate impact on the patients and GPs in the Tuggeranong Valley.

Given the short time frame, it is not an extensive report, but I think we have done our best to look into the issues that were brought before us. I believe that it is a reasonably considered report. I would like to thank all of those people who put in submissions to the committee on this issue. I thank my colleagues Ms Porter and Mrs Burke for their assistance. I would also like to thank the Minister for Health, Ms Gallagher, for appearing before the committee and providing us with extensive amounts of information.

It is unfortunate in that, if the committee had had more time to inquire into this matter, we probably would have been able to present a much more extensive report to the Assembly, which I believe would have given a lot of value to the community of the ACT. But, as it is, the report is not a bad one. Finally, I thank Ms Grace Concannon for the amount of effort that she has put into this report at short notice. I believe she has done a very good job.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (10.59): I am very pleased to have had majority support in this place for my motion—and I thank all members for that—on the closure of the Wanniassa medical centre. As the chair rightly said, this has had an impact on the broader community.

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