Page 787 - Week 02 - Thursday, 25 February 2010

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It is important to place on the record and remind those opposite that it was the Canberra Liberals who took strategic policy to the last election to attract and retain GPs. It was the opposition who established the Legislative Assembly inquiry into GPs, and it was opposition pressure on the government that resulted in the establishment of the GP task force.

In making the referral to the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services in March last year, the Assembly recognised that the ACT has the second lowest number of GPs per capita in Australia behind the NT, that GP clinics across the territory continue to close and that the number of aged and ageing in the community in need of access to GPs for ongoing primary care is increasing. The health committee highlighted what should be of deep concern to this government—that is, the shortage of GPs, coupled with the lowest rates of bulk-billing, was disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable people in the ACT, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people with a disability.

It is the Canberra Liberals, through the hard work of our alternative health minister, Mr Hanson, who have released the discussion paper, The state of our health, which sets out a forward-thinking strategy. The Stanhope-Gallagher government spends the most on health per capita than anywhere in Australia, yet we have some of the worst health results. We need to increase and enhance the capacity of our public hospital system, but we must also make our health system more efficient and effective. The state of our health sets out a strategy for the ACT’s health system, where there is a greater focus placed on preventative health and early intervention and where the patient is placed at the centre of the system. We need to change from a culture of treating illness in our hospitals to a culture of promoting wellness in the community.

Mr Hanson is also holding a forum on primary health in the ACT on 30 March, where the guest speaker will be the ACT President of the AMA, Dr Paul Jones. Our alternative health minister, Mr Hanson, has taken the first step towards a better future for healthcare in the ACT and will engage with the community and work in partnership with health experts and the community in the process of realising this vision. (Time expired.)

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mr Doszpot, I am afraid the time for discussion has concluded.

Home insulation scheme

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.25), by leave: I move the motion circulated in my name:

That the resolution of the Assembly of 24 February 2010, relating to the Commonwealth Home Insulation Scheme, be amended to provide for the ACT Government to provide to the Speaker all documents pertaining to the Commonwealth Home Insulation Scheme by close of business Wednesday, 3 March 2010.

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