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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2159 ..

MS GALLAGHER: I am sorry; my apologies.

Health, Community and Social Services—Standing Committee

Report 2—government response

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.13): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Health, Community and Social Services—Standing Committee—Report 2—Access to Primary Health Care Services—Government response.

The report was presented to the Assembly on 23 February 2010. I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

It gives me great pleasure today to table the ACT government’s response to the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services report No 2, Access to primary health care services, dated February 2010. I would like to thank the standing committee for its consideration of the important community issues and acknowledge the stakeholders and the community members who provided input into the inquiry process.

The ACT government welcomes the committee’s report, which highlights a number of issues including ways to attract more GPs to the ACT given the current shortage, the need to continue to explore and evaluate new models of primary healthcare delivery, new and expanded roles of nurses and allied health professionals and improving the community’s awareness of how better to access healthcare services appropriate to their need.

This inquiry was prompted in response to the closure of the Kippax medical centre in March 2009 and ongoing community concern about the shortage of GPs in the ACT. As a result, on 25 March the Legislative Assembly referred this matter to the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services.

The committee adopted the following terms of reference: to inquire into and report on access to primary healthcare services in the ACT with particular reference to the role of nurse practitioners, GP clinic closures, the current level of GP shortages in the ACT, how to arrest and reverse the decline in GP numbers and strategies to attract and retain GPs in suburban clinics, linkages between government and non-government healthcare providers including innovative and best practice models and any other related matter.

The report contained 24 recommendations. The government in its response agreed to four of the recommendations, agreed in principle to six of the recommendations, noted 11 recommendations and did not agree with four recommendations. For one of the recommendations, the government in its response agreed in principle to one part of the recommendation and did not agree to another part.

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