Page 71 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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encouraged when we look at opportunities for our leaders within the ACT public service. We continue to focus on things such as the RED framework to ensure that we are, and continue to be, an employer of choice.

We are a large employer in this town. I think we have a very streamlined administration. That is not to say that we cannot make further savings or look for efficiencies in the work that we do. We will continue to do that. But I think it is also opportune at this time to acknowledge how well served the people of the ACT are by their ACT public service.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question.

MR HANSON: Minister, what changes will you be making in the health system to stem the steady decline in the performance of key performance areas and the decline that we have seen in staff culture?

MS GALLAGHER: The premise of the question from Mr Hanson is wrong, so I find that I am not in a position where I am able to answer it, because I do not agree with it.

Hospitals—birthing suites

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. On 7 September you stated in relation to the Greens’ promise for a study into a stand-alone birthing suite:

We would effectively be running three distinct birthing services at three different hospitals and for a community our size that would raise some concerns around patient safety.

Minister, do you still hold the view that a stand-alone birthing suite would raise patient safety concerns?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I do. My position on that has not changed. In the negotiations that we had with Mr Rattenbury we agreed to have some work done into investigating options around a stand-alone birth centre in conjunction with the work that we have committed to do through the election campaign where we announced that we would be doing further demand analysis for public birthing services on the north side of Canberra. That work will be rolled in together. It will examine the positives, the negatives. It will take clinicians’ views as part of that. It will encompass the views of independent midwives and those who support stand-alone birthing services. Then it will provide its report.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, given your concerns about safety and your objection to a birthing suite, why is it that you have agreed to a $300,000 feasibility study into something that you object to?

MS GALLAGHER: I would have to check the wording on the parliamentary agreement because I am not sure that it does refer to a price tag, but I will stand corrected on that. I am pretty sure it does not make reference to a $300,000 figure.

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