Page 4752 - Week 11 - Thursday, 20 October 2011

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MR BARR: I have answered the question.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, another supplementary now?

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, which firm of auditors was the auditor of Sports Alive?

MR BARR: I will have to take that question on notice.

Health—general practitioners

DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, the government has allocated $4 million for a GP development fund. Can you provide to the Assembly an update on this initiative?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. The government have, since 2008, as part of our previous election promise, allocated $4 million to a GP development fund. This fund has undergone several rounds to provide additional resources to general practices across the ACT. We are just about to conclude the decisions around funding for round 4, which will provide for another 30 new projects to be funded.

In total, 33 practices have received funding to date. I think in round 4 almost a million dollars is going out the door basically to support the expansion of and the training assistance for the general practice workforce, not just GPs but also their nursing and administration staff as well. Already we have had rounds 1, 2 and 3. Round 4 has just been finalised. This will ensure that about 33 practices across the ACT will have received funding for approximately 72 different projects.

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, a supplementary question.

DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, how has this assisted local general practices in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Dr Bourke. This has been a very successful program. Through the program and the flexibility around payments, practices have been able to attract new GPs to the ACT. There have been 34 additional GPs recruited over the past 2½ or three years to the ACT. That is just fantastic. It has been able to be used to increase services that have been provided, such as purchase of equipment and training for identifying skin cancer, purchase of IT equipment to allow for remote access to assist with home visits to housebound patients or patients in care facilities, and different training opportunities for practice nurses such as immunisation training to allow them to increase the immunisation programs in their general practice.

It has assisted with the website development, particularly around improving recruitment outcomes for GPs. It has allowed for additional consulting rooms and replacing ageing, broken or inadequate equipment. It has allowed for remodelling of practices to improve space for patients, OH&S for staff, the widening of doorways and things like that to ensure greater accessibility for patients who may have a disability.

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