Page 3353 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 17 August 2010

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government is underfunding Calvary, because Calvary has to meet its budget. Unlike the Canberra Hospital, they do not have the capacity to exceed their budget, to blow out their budget and be bailed out by a Labor government. And that is what this is about.

But the other thing that I really want to concentrate on today is A review of service delivery and clinical outcomes at public maternity units in the Australian Capital Territory, prepared by Dr David Rankin, Associate Professor Robert Bryce, Ms Avon Strahle and Professor Michael Humphrey. And there is little more that I need to do than quote—these are not my words; these are not the words of the opposition—these words directly out of the report. First and foremost, it is interesting to note that the reviewers pointed out on page 8 that there was a list of previous reviews and that “the conclusions, recommendations and subsequent actions for most of these reviews” were not provided to them.

I think it is interesting that the minister said, “They did not ask for it.” First of all, you would have to question why did they need to ask for it and, if they thought it was so insignificant as to not ask for it, why did they then comment that they did not receive it? There is more to this than their not asking for it. I suspect that, if we look deeply into this, there has been a cover-up here and that these reviewers have not had the opportunity to undertake a review with all the previous information before them.

But there are more important things to dwell on, in the words of the reviewers. It is interesting that they say:

At the time of the review, several key staff were on leave …

I ask myself: why, at the time of such an important review, did some key staff mysteriously go on leave? Is there something to hide and did the reviewers actually get access to all the information that they needed? They went on to say:

… the Clinical Director had temporarily stood down. There was a general feeling of tension amongst all levels of management.

That was within the unit. Further, the report noted:

Midwifery and medical staff of the maternity and neonatal services reported concerns that the public had lost confidence in the maternity service and indicated that some patients were showing apprehension about having to receive care at the hospital.

This is something which is a clear indictment of the minister. She let the complaints go on for so long that they had to become public. Through the whole process of this becoming public, it is axiomatic that there would be a lowering of confidence and misapprehension about whether or not people are getting the best service.

It is important that we reinforce to the people of the ACT, the women of the ACT, that they are going to get great service when they go to a public maternity or obstetric and gynaecology hospital in the ACT, because it is their health that we are concerned about. This is why Mr Hanson, whom I congratulate on his courage and his

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