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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 25 February 2010) . . Page.. 761 ..

MR HANSON: Minister, if you and your department simply ignore complaints that are being made by the doctors, what do you expect will be the outcome of the review that is due to be conducted?

MS GALLAGHER: I have never ignored a complaint put to me by a doctor. I can tell you that right now. In fact, when I get a complaint from anybody, each of those complaints is investigated and I respond to each and every one of them. The complaints that I am yet to receive, I think—I cannot recall any even this week. I have received an email from one doctor who does not want it to proceed as a complaint. I still cannot think of one letter I have got of complaint from a doctor yet.

Mr Hanson: They have given up on you. They have tried it before.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson!

MS GALLAGHER: Well, Mr Hanson, I did not sense from my meeting with the doctors that I met with on Monday that they have given up. The meeting I had where they raised their concerns with me was extremely cordial. Indeed, they agreed with the process that I put forward. They were happy with that process until, I think, Mr Hanson got in their ear and said, “Come and support us under the inquiries act.”

Mr Seselja: Oh, so they weren’t so happy.

MS GALLAGHER: No, then one of those doctors changed their view and wanted a process that involved subpoena. But that certainly was not the view expressed to me in that meeting. I asked them around the review and the processes in terms of whether or not they felt that was the right way forward.

I think the processes that are going to be put in place appear on the surface to have the support of the doctors that are making the allegations. As of this point in time—and I do not expect necessarily to receive the complaints; the complaints may well go straight to ACT Health or through the review process that has been established—I still have not received a complaint from a doctor other than some concerns that were put to me at that meeting.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister. Is it true, with respect to complaints around professional treatment, that the hospital receives far more compliments than it does complaints?

MS GALLAGHER: The Canberra Hospital certainly receives lots of consumer feedback and patient feedback; in fact, it is an area that we survey. The hospital also gets lots of compliments, because the hospital does a fantastic job, on the whole. However, no health system is perfect. I do not think any health minister would ever say that they have a perfect health system. There is always room for improvement.

Patient feedback is one of the ways that we are able to analyse our performance over time. The feedback that we have been getting since we have been doing the patient

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