Page 49 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

bullying inquiry poorly? Do you accept that you should resign because of these failures?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not think it is that unusual for health ministers and doctors to disagree on certain matters. On this one, I disagree with Dr Peter Hughes.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, you labelled the president of the VMOs as “rude” and claimed that he had not made any constructive contribution to the debate. Yet Dr Hughes claims that the letter was approved by a committee of his peers. Do you accept this letter as representative of the attitudes and opinions of VMOs?

MS GALLAGHER: I wrote back to Dr Peter Hughes so that I could answer his letter in its entirety. I asked him to let me know who within his membership had passed this, because he certainly did not indicate to me that it was a committee of the VMOA. I think that is what he told Peter Jean at the Canberra Times. I did not get a response from Dr Hughes, unfortunately. I thought it was a fair question to ask. He is asking me to resign, to lose my job. I thought I actually would like to know what party or membership had passed this resolution. I still have not heard back from him. He was at the meeting last week. He did come to the meeting to look at the surgical services at the hospital. I have to say that in my dealings with Dr Hughes he has always concentrated more on car parking at the Canberra Hospital than he has on any other matter, so my comments in the paper reflected that, Mrs. Dunne.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, have there been similar calls for your resignation from other medical associations such as ASMOF, the ANF or the AMA, just to name a few?

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! This is not a discussion across the chamber.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Ms Bresnan. No, I have not. I have also spoken to numbers of VMOs at both of the hospitals and all of the ones I have spoken to were not invited to a meeting where that resolution was put.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, are you then unaware of the significant disquiet among doctors about your performance?

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video