Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 3970 ..
MS GALLAGHER: to engage in flexible, multi-faceted work in government, education and innovative models of service provision—
Mr Hanson: Good idea now.
MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, we do not usually have interjections when tabling papers, but I can see Mr Hanson is going to continue. These are not the government’s recommendations, Mr Hanson; these are the recommendations of the GP Taskforce, and the government has not responded to them formally.
The other proposals in the recommendations of the report are to support GPs taking parental leave to return to the workforce through help with childcare and re-entry programs; to create and publicise opportunities for GPs over 55 years of age to remain in the workforce; to expand and better support the role of nurse practitioners, practice nurses and other assistant positions in general practice and primary health care; develop a new model of care, inclusive of team-based models, that supports existing practices and networks; focus on reducing red tape through consultation and collaboration with ACT and commonwealth agencies and organisations; develop an e-health platform to underpin the health home scheme, as well as support a “virtual” primary health service; the rollout of an in-hours locum service to support GPs and residents of aged-care facilities; explore options to enhance overall access to transportation; and explore a mandatory requirement for practices to notify of practice locations, to assist in the maintenance of an up-to-date practice directory and geospatial map to assist with disaster and emergency management policy and planning.
As the next step, in the upcoming months I will be considering the recommendations made in the final report, along with monitoring the progress of the $12 million GP workforce program this government has already committed to over the next four years and indeed was approved by the Assembly through the passage of the budget. The government will be responding by the end of this year. In fact, I will respond formally in the December sittings of the Assembly.
I would like to thank the members of the ACT GP Taskforce for their dedication and the work that they put in. They held a number of public forums and a number of private forums. I was able to attend a number of those forums. The co-chairs were Mr Ross O’Donoughue and Dr Clare Willington and the members were Dr Rashmi Sharma, representing the Division of General Practice; Dr Paul Jones, President of the AMA; Professor Nick Glasgow, Dean of the ANU Medical School; Professor Kljakovic, Director of the Academic Unit of General Practice and Community Health; Ms Veronica Croome, the ACT Chief Nurse; and Ms Ann Wentworth AM, healthcare consumer representative. I appreciate the long hours they have had to put in and I think they have delivered a very accessible document of a high standard that paves the way forward.
Paper and statement by minister
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability and Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and