Page 3897 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Clauses 1 to 5, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
Schedule 1, part 1.1, agreed to.
Schedule 1, part 1.2.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.05): As I indicated in my in-principle speech, I have concerns with this element of the bill. It appears to me that this is not without controversy when there are presidents and chairs of various colleges and groups saying that it is controversial. That is something that we need to consider. Mr Rattenbury said in his speech that this is not contentious nationally. I am not sure that is true. It has been agreed to nationally, but that does not mean that it was not contentious. My understanding is that there were elements that were quite contentious. I am disappointed that the Chief Minister has said that there was, in her view, no necessity to engage or consult with people locally because, essentially, this has all been stitched up at the national level and she did not want it to be agitated.
I accept that there may be some agitation in this. There may be some controversy. There may be some concern. But it seems to me that something that the minister does not want re-agitated, because she knows it is controversial, is then being snuck through in a SLAB. That is not the way to do it. We will be opposing this section of the bill because we do not think this is the right way to do business. I think the minister has been somewhat disingenuous by saying, essentially, that she just does not want this re-agitated at a local level. I think that people locally who are engaged in the business of delivering babies should be consulted. This is a very important issue when it comes to the care of babies and clinical safety and we want to make sure that everybody’s voice is heard. That now will not be the case before these amendments are made. That is not the way to deal with legislation in this place and the Chief Minister and the Attorney-General know that.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (11.08): Mr Hanson says that he thinks various groups are concerned with this amendment. I do not think that is correct. It appears that the local branch of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have raised some concerns, so I do not think it is fair to portray this as “various groups”. The government has taken a policy decision that we would like a pathway to be provided for midwives, should they reach agreement with medical practitioners, to be able to be credentialed in health facilities to provide midwifery-led care. This has nothing to do with clinical safety or clinical governance.
This merely establishes a process that an eligible midwife could apply to be credentialed, with the support of a medical practitioner, to provide clinical services at a hospital. It has got nothing to do with clinical governance or safety. Those are